How many times have you given blood since you turned 17, the legal age for blood donation? Never? Once, because a friend suggested it? Angie Velez, freshman psychology major, has given blood six times since she turned 17.
Velez was just one of 98 donors that attended the American Red Cross Blood Drive last Wednesday, an event sponsored by Circle K, the College’s chief service organization.
Although this blood drive was the first Circle K has sponsored, they had no trouble filling all the appointments for the day. Circle K set up the blood drive with 88 appointments, and there were 10 donors who came as walk-ins to fill open spots.
“I found that recruiting donors was quite easy,” Kim Greene, president of Circle K, said. “Members of the TCNJ community have been exceptionally generous in the giving of their time and of themselves.”
Circle K has previously worked with the Princeton chapter of the American Red Cross and was contacted to sponsor Wednesday’s blood drive, according to Greene.
Despite the fact that some of the attending students had to wait a long time – at times hours – to give blood, many did not mind.
“It’s a nice thing to do for people,” Stacey Reed, sophomore mathematics secondary education major, said. Reed has given blood twice since turning 17, and plans to continue doing so.
From the 98 donors, the Red Cross said it collected 61 pints of productive blood, which can potentially help as many as 183 patients. According to the Red Cross, every two seconds someone in the United States needs blood, but only five percent of those who can donate actually do.
Besides giving blood simply because she can, Velez said another reason is to receive “a clean bill of health.” The Red Cross screens each blood donation it receives to ensure healthy blood for patients, and a relative of Velez became aware of a medical condition through this screening process.
The Red Cross would like to have a blood drive every month at the College, in order to accommodate all students who are eligible to give blood. According to the Red Cross, a person is eligible to donate every 56 days.
Circle K plans to collect the most donations possible from the College community by sponsoring frequent blood drives in conjunction with the Red Cross and other on-campus organizations, such as Residence Life and the Nursing program.
Students are encouraged to keep an eye out for upcoming blood drives on campus so that they can save lives by donating blood to those in need.