By Rayna Allonce
On Tuesday, September 27th, over 150 Bryn Mawr students will give blood for the college’s first annual Blood Drive. This is a bit over 10% of the college’s student body, an excellent turnout. A week before the drive, Bryn Mawr has already had such a large number of registrations that the Red Cross has had to hire more nurses for the drive.
“Thank you to everyone who signed up already,” said Brie Stark ’12, “It’s awesome to see Bryn Mawr stepping up.” However, high numbers of registrations are not the norm. The Red Cross estimates that about 4 million people give blood every year. However, currently only 3 percent of the United States give blood. Stark, a member of the Red Cross’s National Youth Council, said: “People aren’t giving as much blood [anymore]…we’re using more blood than we’re giving out.” Stark has coordinated many of Bryn Mawr’s blood drives during her time at the college. Blood is not only needed in times of disasters. According to the Red Cross, 38,000 blood donations are needed every day. One donation can help save three lives.
According to Stark, walk-ins appointments are available for anyone who was unable to register for a donation in advance. The whole donation process generally takes about an hour and donated red blood cells will be used within 42 days of donation. A healthy donor can donate red blood cells every 56 days, and Bryn Mawr generally hosts two to three blood drives a year. Therefore, if you miss this blood drive, there will be other opportunities to give later in the year.
Donating blood is not the only way someone can get involved. People who are unable to give blood, for whatever reason, can still be of great help. “To help on the day of is actually the biggest help,” said Stark. She says that the Civic Engagement Office is always in need of more volunteers to help out with registration, manage the canteen, and help out the nurses. She suggests that anyone interested in volunteering should email the CEO.