With blood drives yesterday and from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. today in the Skyline room, I have been consistently reminded to donate given the need for O positive blood.

“The blood drives are very important. I think it’s great we can do it in a community space like this,” said Allison Hunt, vice president of the Caduceus Society and senior biology major. “I think we have a responsibility to help out where we can. I’ve always had an interest in health which is how I got into biology, so I think it’s important to donate.”

I decided to donate blood Saturday evening at Flint Hills Mall where the high school juniors were assisting to help raise funds for their upcoming prom.

With several beds set up to receive donations, there were plenty of donors who came during the hour and a half I was there. Before donating you should make sure to eat and drink plenty the day before and the morning of your donation.

“We always need more people to come and donate,” said Kristen Geiger, junior biology major. “I’m always surprised how excited people are and willing to come and donate.”

After a brief screening process, my iron levels and hemoglobin count were checked, and I was hooked up and began donating. I don’t know anyone who is particularly fond of needles, but donating is harmless, and it didn’t take me more than 15 minutes.

With a goal of about 50 pints at each location in Emporia this week, Susan Fowler, coordinator for the American Red Cross, said she’s confident in the students of Emporia State.

“I run blood drives in 16 counties, and I know there is a lot of Hornet spirit here,” Fowler said. “I work with a lot of schools, and I would pit ESU against any of them.”

Fowler said blood drives like this are easy ways to give back to the community.

“I like working with a group of people who constantly are thinking of others,” Fowler said. “I really encourage students to donate. It’s during the holidays and summer when we don’t have students that our reserves take such a hit. Twenty percent of all our donations come from students, so they are really important to us.”

Donations are quick and walk-ins are encouraged. Donors can also schedule ahead online at www.redcrossblood.org.

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