Why do vampires consider themselves good artists? Because they like drawing blood!
There was a lot of blood being drawn on at JJC: over 100 pints total was collected on the bridge. And no, it was not the work of vampires!
It was, however, the result of a fundraiser for two of JJC’s Clubs: Latinos Unidos and Press Pause, paired with the Red Cross. The drive took place on Oct. 7 and 8 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. and there were veins of people eager to donate! At the end of the drive, over a hundred pints of blood were donated!
Many people donate and volunteer for different reasons. Nathalia Chavez, a volunteer for Press Pause, donated her blood and time to raise awareness and funds for Press Pause.
For those who have not heard of the club, Chavez explains that Press Pause is a “…mental health advocacy group.” Chavez went on to relate how the group spreads awareness around campus to break the stigma surrounding mental illness.
According to Chavez, “last year we hosted a fair where we had people come talk about what mental illness is and how it is actually an illness even though people don’t see it that way. We also had the counseling department, people you can actually talk to or go to for help. Through the blood drive we get funds for our club so we can keep doing events and spreading awareness.”
Another donor, Kaitlin Miller, says that she donates because she really likes to. “It started out with me and my dad doing it together as soon as I was able to and then I kept doing it because I get free stuff because I’m O negative, the universal donor.” Since Miller’s sophomore year of high school, she has donated blood almost every eight weeks.
“I like knowing that I can help all types of people. I find it rewarding. Donating blood is fun and you get free food.”
The process of donating blood is very simple. First the donor talks with a nurse from the Red Cross and answer a series of questions that confirm that they are eligible to give blood. Then, they take a sample of the donor’s blood by pricking their finger and testing the iron levels. Once that stage is complete the donor will wait their turn to have their blood drawn.
When it is their turn they will get on the cot and another nurse will check them in, take their blood pressure, and mark a vein. After finding a vein the nurse will stick them with the needle and take a pint of blood. The donor only feels a small pinch and their only job after that is to lightly squeeze a stress ball. Once the bag is filled, the needle is removed and a bandage is placed on the vein.
The whole donating part only takes six to 12 minutes. After that, the donor is given orange juice and snacks. If a student does choose to donate, they should be sure to eat something beforehand so they don’t pass out!
The blood donated will go to the American Red Cross, where the blood will be separated into transfusable components – red cells, platelets, and plasma – and then sent for testing. The Red Cross tests each unit to establish the blood type and to make sure there are no infectious diseases. Once the test results come back and the units are cleared, the red cells, platelets, and plasma are stored and ready for distribution.
There is always a need for blood. The Red Cross estimates that about every two seconds, someone in the United States is in dire need of blood. A single car accident victim may need as many as 100 pints of blood.
Sickle cell disease affects around 90,000 to 100,000 people in the U.S. these patients require frequent blood transfusions, three pints of blood per transfusion, throughout their lives. By donating to the Red Cross, you are able to save lives.
There are many opportunities to donate blood at JJC. There is another drive in February or you can find nearby drives on the American Red Cross website.