Blood Drive Allows Students to Help Save Lives

A blood drive, in association with American Red Cross, took place on April 22 and 23 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the DUC.

“At this blood drive, the American Red Cross came to campus in hopes of compiling 170 or more units of blood to screen and give to hospitals,” said Katie Morici, the blood drive coordinator.

A total of 143 units were collected at the drive and about 135 students, faculty, and staff participated.

“Some donated dual reds, or double the amount, and approximately 40 students volunteered,” Morici said.

Donors began by scheduling an appointment or walking in the day of the drive, answering questions through an online survey, and having a mini health screening to make sure they were not ill or have low iron.

“After about twenty minutes of pumping blood, donors got to eat and recover in the canteen area before leaving the drive,” Morici said. “Because this was the last drive of the year and we have had a long winter, a giant Jenga game was at the drive.”

There was also a beach theme to draw people in.

“I watched some people play while sitting after giving blood,” said Cassilyn Bero, a junior majoring in elementary education. “It was pretty entertaining. We all jumped a little when it fell though. It was really great to receive food, stickers, and even free t-shirts for simply donating blood.”

Any person 16 years or older was eligible to donate that weighed at least 110 pounds. There were a few other restrictions such as traveling, antibiotics, and more.

“Giving blood is important because it’s a really simple way to help others,” Bero said. “If I have the ability to improve people’s lives by spending 15 minutes in a chair every few months, why wouldn’t I do it?”

Bero says that knowing she has O-negative blood, the universal donor, also makes her want to give.

“It makes me feel like I’m doing something really worthwhile with my time,” Bero said. “I decided to donate this week because having the Red Cross come right to campus was really convenient and it doesn’t take very long. I’m willing to take a tiny prick on the finger and a really small needle if it means someone’s life could be saved.”

Morici says that the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point hosts blood drives to give students opportunities to volunteer, help save lives, and network with organizations in the community.

“With the drive being held on campus, students are more likely to donate because they do not have to travel anywhere to donate blood,” Morici said.

Morici volunteered at every blood drive in high school and was fortunate enough to receive a scholarship form the American Red Cross to pay for college expenses.

“Freshmen year, I worked at the Student Involvement and Employment Office and continued volunteering at blood drives and the graduating coordinator suggested I apply for her position,” Morici said.

Morici has been in the role of blood drive coordinator for the past two years and has enjoyed seeing so many college students, faculty and staff, and community members get involved in donating blood.

“Donating blood is very important because each day accidents, surgeries, or other events occur where people are in need of blood,” Morici said. “This year with this Wisconsin weather, blood donations were down and people who are in need increased, so at this time the supply is fairly low.”

This was the last blood drive of the semester, but the next is scheduled to take place fall 2014 on September 29 and 30.

Rachel Pukall

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