With February’s on-campus blood drive right around the corner, plenty of students are signing up to save lives. Whether you are already planning on donating or are still on the fence about the whole idea, there are plenty of reasons to get involved. I had the chance to speak with Katie Flesch, a junior at St. Norbert college and the student Blood Drive Coordinator through Health and Wellness about just how important donating blood is.
Each school year, Health and Wellness teams up with the American Red Cross to host three on-campus blood drives in the months of September, November, and February. Katie, who has helped coordinate the last six on-campus blood drives, explains that it is especially important to donate in the winter months as the amount of donations hospitals receive are typically lower during this time. Despite the decrease in blood donations during the colder months, Katie points out that the need for them “is constant and donating blood is an incredibly simple way to fill that need.” These donations may be used in transfusions for patients injured in car accidents, receiving organ transplants, or having major surgeries.
If that’s not enough of a reason to sign up, consider that one unit of blood has the potential to save three lives. Katie encourages students further by emphasizing that donating not only has the potential to help so many people, but also that “it literally takes one hour out of your day, and then you’re done. There’s no long term commitment” — but there is a long term impact.
Over the past six blood drives that Katie has coordinated she says they have seen an increase in the number of donations and that they generally surpass the goals they set for each event. “Last year was a very successful year, as the total number of donors increased by about 20% from the year before. In total, we collected 310 units of blood throughout the three drives.” Katie breaks this down further by explaining that “one pint may help three people, so that means the combined efforts of this campus and community could have helped up to 930 people in just one school year!” Katie says that they’re on track to beat this record and that this February’s two-day blood drive has a total goal of 142 units.
Of course, if you’re unable to donate blood there are other ways to help show your support. Katie points out that “there are a number of dedicated student organizations that volunteer their time as donor room aids, refreshment volunteers, or check-in table workers at every campus blood drive, including Math Club, Biology Club, Pre-Health Club, Phi Delta Theta, Psychology Club, Circle K, Kappa Beta Gamma, ADMAR, and SNC Times.”
The upcoming blood drive will be held on Wednesday, February 18th and Thursday, February 19th from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day in Michels Ballroom. Appointments are preferred, but walk-ins are welcome as well. Donors will also receive a half-off coupon for FrāLuz Frozen Treats, a frozen yogurt shop located near Festival Foods in De Pere. If you would like to schedule an appointment, you can visit the American Red Cross website or email Katie at: firstname.lastname@example.org.