SPECIAL SERIES : Hurricane Katrina
Blood Drive to Aid Hurricane Victims
SHAC sponsors blood drive to help with Katrina relief efforts
September 27, 2005 3:30 PM
The Student Health Advisory Committee’s blood drive started with five eager donors lined up outside the Student Health Center 10 minutes prior to the actual time of the blood drive.
The “Pint for a Pint” event is the first time that SHAC will be hosting a blood drive for two days in support of the Hurricane Katrina relief efforts and in dedication to the memory of SHAC officer, Vibha Sharma. For every donation SHAC will give $5 to the Red Cross and Blood Centers of the Pacific will supply the blood to sister blood banks in hurricane regions.
“This is to encourage students who were affected by Katrina and want to take action but don’t have the financial means to help,” said Janet Ho, president of SHAC.
Ho is unconcerned by the Blood Centers of the Pacific’s need for 50 donors due to the success of last year’s blood drive, which garnered such overwhelming numbers of donors who were all substantially walk-in volunteers that SHAC extended their usual one day event into two days.
“We’re not worried because we’re pretty sure that the student population will come out and support us,” said Kamal Harb, health educator at the Student Health Center and SHAC advisor.
David Meredith, chair of the Math Department, has not given blood in almost three years, but he was the very first person to take a seat in the Student Health Center’s conference room to donate his blood.
“The main thing is to get some blood in the system. There is always a need,” said Meredith.
Senior and first time blood donor, Kelly Werner was just passing by the Student Health Center when she decided to participate in the blood drive.
“This is my opportunity to help because I can’t go over there (New Orleans) and do something and although I don’t have the money, this is an indirect way to contribute and help out,” said Werner.
First semester SHAC member, Trevor Reed, 23, is impressed by the outcome of students who have already signed up to donate blood and emphasizes that more than 50 people have already signed up for the blood drive.
“I don’t think people know that SHAC will be donating $5 to the Red Cross because it doesn’t say it in our flyers, but I think most people donate because it’s a good cause,” said Reed.
Unfortunately, even though there is an outpour of people volunteering to donate, there are still some people turned away because they are not eligible. According to Queri, at least one out of 10 people will be turned away after filling out forms some because they are not eligible to donate blood. During history consultations, nurses ask health questions to volunteers to measure their eligibility and it’s mostly women who are turned away because they tend to have low iron said Ho.
“Last semester 90 people signed up but only 51 actually donated because they’re underweight, or they have tattoos,” said Harb.
The outpour of students willing to donate have been overwhelming that an hour and half before the blood drive was over for the day, Ho and Reed had to start turning people away and asking students to come back tomorrow.
“The fundamental problem is that there are not enough staff members to help out that students are now waiting an hour and a half instead of just hour,” said Ho.
To show their appreciation, SHAC and Blood Centers of the Pacific will be giving donors coupons for a free pint of ice cream at Baskin Robbins. The blood drive will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. today and tomorrow.
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