Last Friday over 85 students donated blood at a blood drive hosted by Alpha Phi Omega in Heidi Lounge. This was the first blood drive hosted by APO for this academic year.
The event drew more students, faculty and staff donations than ever before for APO according to Ashton Crues, the service vice president for APO.
“There were 85 people who donated, which is way more than we’ve had in the past couple of years,” Crues said. “In the past, people ended up leaving at 3 p.m. because there weren’t a lot of donations. But last Friday everyone had to stay until 5 p.m. to get everyone in.”
The University Health System sponsored the event and collected donations. The University Health System’s website reports that blood supplies in San Antonio are at dangerously low levels.
Blood donations are most needed during holiday seasons and the summer, according to the University Health System.
“I’m really thankful for the Trinity community for stepping up and volunteering their blood. No one had to do this and it was in no way mandatory. It was very selfless and is really reflective of the amazing community that we have,” Crues said.
Liezelle Lopez, senior biochemistry and molecular biology major and APO member, volunteered at the event.
“There was a fantastic turnout, way bigger than I expected. I volunteered for the first shift and was surprised by how backed up it got so quickly,” Lopez said.
Lopez explained the increased traffic of the blood drive.
“This blood drive was a little different in that it only took place on one day. Usually, the blood drive workers come for a span of a few days, and as a result, we see a lot of business spread out over multiple days. Last semester, they weren’t able to come to campus, so that, combined with only holding the blood drive on one day really increased the traffic of people who came by to donate,” Lopez said.
APO usually hosts two blood drives per year as a part of their service initiative.
“APO has three main purposes to encourage leadership, promote friendship in our club and promote service. There are a lot of different ways we can do service within the community and at the university,” Crues said.
Crues said that many students donate with the intention of helping others and giving back.
“I know a lot of people who had an O blood type, and they felt guilty not giving because O is the universal blood type. Some people have received blood before, so they wanted to give back and pass it forward,” Crues said.
Lopez donated during the blood drive as a way of giving back to the community.
“This is only my second time donating blood, and I feel like I have some making up to do because I’ve only started donating recently. I do it because it’s a way of helping people, and it’s so simple to do. There’s always a blood shortage, and they’re always looking, so I figured, why not?,” Lopez said.
The American Red Cross reports that the number one reason donors say they give blood is because they “want to help others.”
The American Red Cross further reports that there are 6.8 million blood donations in the United States per year.
Laura Preston, sophomore engineering major and APO member, volunteered at the event.
“I’m really happy with the turnout. I think it’s a really good thing, and it’s an easy way to help and it’s not time consuming,” Preston said.
APO plans to expand the blood drive from one day to two days next year.
“Next semester we’re thinking about having a blood drive for two days to allow for more donations,” Crues said.
APO anticipates holding another blood drive in May.