The WSC Red Cross Club collected 52 units of blood from about 65 donors Feb. 16 in its first drive of the semester.
Natalie Gasseling, WSC club president, said the club’s next two drives will be Wednesday, April 7, and Tuesday, April 13.
Walk-in appointments will not be allowed, so students are encouraged to sign into redcrossblood.org, make an account, and sign up for an appointment between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. Gasseling said they can also use the Red Cross app.
Donors should start preparing themselves the morning before giving blood, Gasseling said. “Drink lots of water, have a good breakfast, and eat lunch or at least a snack with lots of protein before you come and give blood,” she said. “Some things they should expect are that they will get their temperature taken and they will have to wear a mask the whole time. It’s pretty simple, but they will feel a little pinch when getting their blood drawn.”
Gasseling, also the Blood Drive Program Leader, meets with staff on campus and works directly with the Red Cross to organize blood drives for WSC.
To make sure that you are able to give blood, the Red Cross website has an eligibility requirements tab where it states the parameters for blood donation. The requirement tab includes criteria for the different donation types, common reasons why people can not donate, and other ways people can get involved even if they aren’t eligible for donation.
Those who have never donated or people who are on the fence about donating should choose to give back to their community by giving blood. “It only takes about 30 minutes and a single donation can help up to three people who need blood,” Gasseling said. According to the Red Cross’s website, every two seconds, someone needs blood in the United States.
The WSC Red Cross Club hosts blood drives about every eight weeks, which is the amount of time a healthy person should wait to give blood again.
To join the club students can contact Gasseling or Vice President Jaycee Weber to get meeting times and dates. “We also have a Facebook group,” Weber said. “It’s WSC Red Cross, where students can request to join the club. It’s where we post all of our meeting minutes, future meeting dates, and blood drive signups for those who want to help out.”
If you are looking for volunteer hours or a way to give back, joining the Red Cross Club may be a good fit. “I joined because I’d like to think that if I needed blood, it would be there for me,” Gasseling said. “So, I would like to do that for other people as well.” Gasseling joined her freshman year and is now a senior. Weber, a senior who also joined her freshman year, said she joined to help publicize why everyone should donate blood.