Hall program encourages students to donate blood and organs

Katherine Krajcik – Special to the Southern News 

Senior resident advisor Shawn Copeland stood in the lobby of West Campus last Tuesday night repeating the sentence “You are a hero.”

Instead of a campus hall program where you sit down and listen to someone speak, Copeland talked to residents about the importance of donating blood and organs as they walked into the building.

Copeland’s program idea was inspired by volunteer work he did once a week for two months during his sophomore year.

“I did a volunteer case study right here in downtown New Haven with Donate Life America and we had to develop a plan that would motivate more people to donate blood and register as organ donors,” said Copeland.

With one pint of blood being able to save up to three lives according to redcrossblood.org—Copeland just wanted to motivate his residents by reminding them that they should always consider donating.

Everyone that walked by and told him that they have donated blood before received a nice optimistic gesture in return—“You are a hero.”

“A lot of people think that they can’t be a hero or save lives because they are too young, but something as simple as donating blood can really benefit a lot of people,” Copeland said.

Copeland got to speak to more than 30 residents about donating organs. He got to address myths such as “Once an organ donor, always an organ donor.” Copeland reminded people and said, “You can always register as a donator and change your mind.”

Sophomore Kim Driscoll of the Owls women’s field hockey team had a chance to attend Copeland’s program. She has had to receive a donation of cartilage and bone due to a stress fracture on her femur bone that occurred during one of her games last season.

“My doctor said that since I was young, active and healthy, the best option for me was to get a donation,” Driscoll said.

According to the website for Donate Life America, “Transplantation is one of the most remarkable success stories in the history of medicine…Transplantation gives hope to thousands of people with organ failure and provides many others with active and renewed lives.”

Driscoll, who has donated blood three times and is a registered organ donor herself, said, “I always feel that it is important to give back, but especially now that someone has donated to me, I feel even more obligated to.”

Sophomore Nick Intino, a desk attendant, also attended and he said he liked the way Copeland conducted his program.

“[The program] had a good style to it, especially with it being held in the lobby because you can catch people as they walk by instead of asking people to come to your program,” said Intino.

As a RA in Brownell next semester, Intino would definitely like to plan a program styled like this one. “From the RAs that I have talked to,” he said, “it seems to be the most effective way now because you’re going to get to talk to more people.”



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