Today: Jul 17, 2024

Sorority gives back to community through campus blood drive

Jamila Young – Special to Southern News

Delta Phi Epsilon Sorority sponsored a Red Cross blood drive in the ballroom on Sept. 18 and 19. Delta Phi Epsilon has been running the blood drive at Southern for around five years to offer a helping hand in health awareness and community service.

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Students, faculty and staff showed up to the ballroom and either confirmed their previously scheduled appointments, made an appointment on the spot, or arrived as a walk-in.

The atmosphere was mellow, but the nurses are rushed around as they prepared the donors who attended for a good cause.

Everyone who decided to give blood was required to read a packet of information about the donor process before being seen, no matter if they had already donated blood once already.

Tara-Lena Certo, a sister of Delta Phi Epsilon and senior media studies major, said that last year the blood drive had a great turn out.

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The American Red Cross Connecticut facility is located in New Haven.

“We surpassed our goal by a couple 100 people,” said Certo. “Hopefully we have the same turnout this year.”

Delta Phi Epsilon promoted the event ahead of time; they informed students, faculty, and staff about the blood drive, and had sign-up sheets available for them to make appointments.

“We did tabling during the last two weeks for people to sign up,” said Certo.

The blood drive is for anyone, not just the Southern community.

“We do accept walk-ins,” said Certo. Previous Red Cross donors receive emails of the closest blood drives to them.

Luis Poma-Rodriguez, a sophomore political science major at Southern, gave blood on the first day of the drive and it was not his first time.

“I’ve given blood every year, twice a year since spring 2009,” said Rodriguez.

“I donate every time the sorority has their blood drive.”

For many students, such as Rodriguez, the reason to give was a matter that hit home.

“I got a blood transfusion from my dad, so I feel like I’m giving back,” said Rodriguez.

Organizations and clubs are encouraged to register for an American Red Cross blood drive directly through their website.

According to the site, partaking in a blood drive will continue the Red Cross’ 125 year-mission for health consciousness and community serivce.

Maricarmen Salazar, a Hispanic initiative and Diversity outreach manager for the Red Cross, explained the steps taken before a person can actually give blood.

“The nurses will ask the potential donor a series of questions,” said Salazar.

“We ask about the medical history, if there are any trouble areas, if they’re on any medications.”

There are some qualifications that follow too, which include eligibility requirements like being at least 110 pounds, over the age of 16, and are in good health, meaning there is no chronic illness present.

“The donor must be in good health, no colds,” said Salazar. “Cancun is an area for malaria, so we ask if the donor has been traveling. If a donor has malaria, they have to wait a year until they can donate their blood.”

The Red Cross has a routine procedure for drawing blood.

“The body only has around 10 or 11 pints in it, and we always take one pint of blood,” said Salazar.

“After a person has donated, they are given water and food.”

Salazar decided to be a part of the Red Cross after blood donation affected her family.

“My brother needed blood,” said Salaza. “I’m O+, the universal blood type.”

Salazar really enjoys her job.

“I like talking to people, and that allows for diversity,” said Salazar.

The American Red Cross website, a site for an organization dedicated to ensuring that everyone in the country has access to safe, lifesaving blood and blood products, showed that they are responsible for supplying around 40 % of the nation’s blood supply.

They supply blood for patients in almost 3,000 hospitals in the US. It is very important for people to donate blood because every two seconds, someone is in need of blood, and more than 44,000 donations are needed every day.

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