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The Tangerine

The Student News Site of Utica University

The Tangerine

The Student News Site of Utica University

The Tangerine

Campus Blood Drive Yields Crucial Donations for American Red Cross

Blood drive sign at Strebel Student Center. Tangerine Archived Photo

To kick off the month, the American Red Cross made a pit stop at Utica University, encouraging anyone who was able to donate blood. Red Cross staff, as well as Utica volunteers, assisted in the efforts for a few hours on Feb. 1.

According to the Red Cross, out of the targeted 21 units, the drive accumulated 23 units, roughly equivalent to 23 pints of blood. Other notable statistics included five O-type units collected (the most in-demand type of blood), 12 first-time donors and seven deferrals, indicating the constant stream of safe first-time donors. 

Bethany VanBenschoten, associate director of health and wellness and the blood drive’s project manager, emphasized the importance of giving blood during this critical period of time.

We do this as a community service, but also because we know how much it’s needed,” she said. “The Red Cross workers are always very professional…they’re very accommodating to our community needs.”

The United States is in the middle of one of the most urgent blood shortages in its history, according to the Red Cross, and it’s important that as many volunteers as possible. To make the idea of donation more appealing, the Red Cross took the measure to initiate an incentive to donate blood.

Between Jan. 1 and Feb. 1, anyone who donated blood to the Red Cross was automatically entered into a raffle to win tickets to the upcoming Super Bowl in Las Vegas. According to the Red Cross’ website, the winner would also receive round-trip airfare, a $1,000 gift card for expenses, a three-night hotel accommodation, and even access to day-of in-stadium pre-game activities.

Even with the inherent novelty of a ticket giveaway as an incentive, the importance of giving blood cannot be overstated.

 Ariel Rios, the Executive Director for the Health and Wellness Center, insists that the necessity for blood is simply too big to ignore. “blood donation is so important because there is no substitute for blood and that it is needed for so many different medical treatments,” she said. “If people don’t donate there is no way to replenish the supply and help others.”

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