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SMC holds Red Cross blood drive

Angel Gray | Friday, September 11, 2009

Saint Mary’s students volunteered for the chance to save a life at a blood drive in the Student Center Lounge Thursday.

“The blood drive is a unique and very personal way to give back to the community,” Assistant Director in the Office for Civic and Social Engagement, Olivia Critchlow, said.

Olivia, along with student coordinator Lizzy Pugh, planned this week’s blood drive with the American Red Cross.

The drives are well attended by faculty and staff, Critchlow said. She said last year over 200 units of blood were collected at the drives.

“One unit of blood could save three lives,” she said.

Critchlow said the blood that the American Red Cross collects will be donated to medical centers and hospitals throughout Northern Indiana.

Critchlow said all of the 66 appointment slots were filled before the drive began. She said she’s hoping to get more staff to assist so they may schedule more appointments.

Donating takes about an hour with or without an appointment, she said.

She said students are screened, their vital signs are evaluated, and then it takes roughly 15 minutes to collect a unit of blood. After donating, students are asked to stay so that they can be checked for reactions and have an opportunity to recuperate.

Pugh said juice and cookies were provided for those students that donated. For further incentive, she said the American Red Cross is allowing all donors to enter a raffle for a $50 gasoline gift card.

“I want to help people and I’m O positive which is universal and could save many lives,” first year Bethany Emenhis said.

She donated for the first time at Saint Mary’s and at least 10 times in total.

Saint Mary’s is planning to host four drives this year. Students who did not donate or were not eligible this time around will have another opportunity in December. Students who were eligible to donate once will most likely be so again, Critchlow said.

“I try to encourage friends to donate because it’s a wonderful feeling,” Pugh said.