I have only given blood once. Once. And while I’ve tried to donate blood at various times, I never could because my iron was always too low. However, after attending the blood drive for this term, I can say that from simply attending, I became more aware that blood donations are extremely important. Unfortunately, I did not have time to donate blood this time, but I know that next time, I will be there, for sure.
I made my way to the Pacific room of WUC at around 11:30ish a.m., and to be honest, I was expecting not too see many people there. Boy was I wrong! Upon arrival, two, nice women whom were sitting at the registration table greeted me. I let them know that I was part of the student blogger team on campus and they immediately became interested. So I spoke with them for a while, asking how long they had been volunteering at blood drives and why they believed it was important to donate blood. Sherry Hinkle, one of the women, has been volunteering at the Red Cross for about 10 years! On the other hand, Pay Longendyke has also been volunteering at the Red Cross for about 20 years! I found these numbers to be amazing. And of course, I thank them both for making a difference in people’s lives. They both admitted that they believed that donating blood was important because “there is a large need for blood.”
After I spoke with them for a bit, I made my way around the Pacific room and I approached several students. Two of the students that I approached were already in chairs, donating blood. One of the students, Scott, a freshman at WOU, told me this was his third time donating blood. He makes sure to try and donate blood each term, if possible. And when I asked why he believed donating blood was so important, he responded, “It’s for a good cause.” I then made my way on over to another student, Chelsea, also a freshman at WOU, who has also made the choice to donate blood each term. So, this was her third time donating during the 2012-2013 school year. I also made sure to ask Chelsea why she donated blood, and she answered, “I do it to help people.”
It was quite refreshing to see that many people are making a great effort to donate blood because they are willing to make a change in someone’s life. For example, Sherry shared with me that years back, her twin sister, due to unknown reasons, was diagnosed with having almost no blood left in her body. Of course, if it had not been for donated blood, her sister may have passed on. So you see, even if you think that donating blood may “not make a difference”, this is not true. As a perfect example, let’s reflect on the tragic event that took place in Boston not too long ago. If the victims of that event needed blood, and none was available, what would they have done? With that said, I apologize for being dramatic but I want to encourage everyone, faculty, staff, students, and even community members to donate blood whenever possible. And if you’re not sure when the next blood drive will be or where, just make your way on over to the Red Cross website, which will be linked down below.
Lastly, one of the women whom I quickly spoke to made me aware of the Red Cross website, which offers lots of information regarding the importance of donating blood. She even let me know that students are encouraged to visit the site so that they can share their motivational blood donation stories that may encourage others to donate blood. So, if I were you, I would make my voice heard on the site. How amazing would it be to have a fellow WOU student featured on the website?! For that reason, I will include a link to the Red Cross website. Even if you aren’t comfortable with sharing a story, you can read various other stories, of both those who donate blood and blood recipients. Overall, some of the stories on there are very touching and eye opening. http://www.redcrossblood.org/
By Antonia Rojas