The American Red Cross and students team up to donate blood

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Photo by James Durrant

The American Red Cross held their annual blood drive at UVU to give students and faculty the opportunity to give back to their community. The blood drive was held Sept. 19 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Student Center Commons.

“For me it’s a personal connection. In 2013, my dad passed away from Leukemia, and so in order for me to honor him I always try and donate as much blood as possible, just because he needed quite a bit when he was battling Leukemia,” said David Schneck, a junior at UVU. “It’s always a very personal thing to me to able to come and donate blood.”

This event also gave students like Kelsi Jeffery, a freshmen at UVU, the opportunity to become a first time blood donor.

“I’ve never done it before, so I decided why not today,” said Jeffery. “I think it’s a beneficial part to society and to the people that need blood. If people don’t donate, then we don’t have the resources for those that need blood donations.”

Nursing students at UVU also had the opportunity to volunteer by directing students on how to register to become blood donors and by guiding them through the registration process.

“I just love being able to be a part of helping to make a difference in my own field. I am a nursing student, and I want to give back to what I am passionate about,” said Brian Gunter, a nursing student at UVU. “People have asked when we are going to do this again. I think it makes people realize that this is something that happens often, and there’s lots of opportunities to donate blood; they just need to be informed that it’s going on.”

The American Red Cross, which was founded in 1881, is the largest supplier of blood and blood products in the United States. They collect and process approximately 40 percent of the blood supply which is distributed to about 2,600 hospitals and transfusion centers nationwide.

According to Cory Shadel, a team supervisor for the American Red Cross, they attract more blood donors from college campuses due to the higher traffic of students on campus such as UVU, which currently is the largest public university in the state of Utah, with an estimate over 34,000 students.

The event was organized by the Volunteer & Service-Learning office in order to encourage UVU students to become more involved in service opportunities around campus.