By Mallory Sherwood, Managing Editor
Students can give the gift of life Wednesday when two bloodmobiles roll onto campus from the Meek Blood Center.
The Center, in search of 100 donors, will set up in the Campus Center parking lot at 11 a.m., said Amanda Spell, director of student organizations, in an e-mail.
“Hosting a blood drive is a personal passion for me,” she said. “It is my hope that students who participate in blood drives at ACU will begin a lifelong habit of giving blood. Giving blood is such an easy, life-changing activity. It helps countless people and does not take much of the donor’s time.”
Meeks Blood Center normally comes to campus four times a year, and the last time was in November.
“We haven’t done very well with blood drives this year at ACU,” said Francis Baker, the donor recruiter at Meeks Blood Center. “Last time we only had 37 donors. We’re trying to improve the visibility by bringing the bloodmobiles.”
She said the Center usually sets up in the Campus Center, but because so many students use the building, students often don’t realize the blood drive is even happening. With the bloodmobiles, students will be able to see where they need to go, and more students can donate at one time, she said. Eleven people can donate blood in the bloodmobiles instead of four in the Campus Center.
“Blood is so critical; we’re actually having emergency blood drives right now because donations have dropped a lot,” Baker said. “It only takes an hour to go through the process.”
Although the process takes an hour, actual blood donation time takes seven to 10 minutes, according to the Red Cross Web site.
Donors give one pint of their blood, which their bodies replenish in 24 hours.
“I think it is part of good community service to give of yourself and have to sacrifice your time and your own blood,” Baker said.
Every two seconds someone in the United States needs blood. However, in a year, only 5 percent of eligible donors donate blood
Blood donated to Meeks Blood Center will be used in 17 local hospitals in a 100-mile radius, Baker said.
“More than likely, the blood students donate will go to oncology patients, or the cancer patients, who are on chemotherapy right now and need a blood transfusion,” she said.
Students who donate should eat a meal before donating, drink plenty of fluids and weigh a minimum of 110 pounds, she said. They also will receive a long-sleeved black T-shirt for donating.
“It really does save lives,” she said. “There is no substitute for blood.”