BY SUZANNAH EVANS
The J.C. Williams Center’s Gallery was transformed into a Red Cross blood-donation center with students donating their time and blood to save lives.
The Red Cross Club sponsors about three blood drives a semester. The club consists of mostly nursing majors, with some non-nursing majors. The club president is Gabriela Velasquez, and vice president is Monica Byers, both nursing majors.
Velasquez is motivated by the patients she sees in her nursing clinicals.
“When you see the people in clinical who really need transfusions, you realize how important donations are,” said Velasquez. “I always tell our donors thank you, because there are emergency and non-emergency situations where people really need donations.”
The amount of student participation has increased greatly over the past few years.
Club members Ella Gunderson and Byers attribute the growth to their publicity. The tables in the upper J.C. Williams Center and the posters all around campus have really helped the cause grow.
“Think of all the soldiers in need,” said Byers.
Those in charge of the club want to reach out to the younger nursing students, as well as those of other majors.
There are high hopes for the club and cause to grow in the future. Byers said that she hopes to have the Red Cross Club branch out past just nursing majors and extend to biology and pre-medical students.
“That way more people could get first hand medical experience and involvement in the Red Cross,” said Byers.
The club wants more people to volunteer. With all of the car accidents, wounded soldiers and those suffering from disease, many people depend on blood donations to stay alive.
“Don’t be afraid of volunteers and approaching a nursing major,” said Byers.
The club leaders are adamant about getting more of the Franciscan student body involved in this cause. Not only do people gain a lot of firsthand experience from volunteering, they can also learn how many people need blood transfusions.
Gunderson and Byers also gave some tips on how to physically prepare yourself for giving blood. One can only donate every 56 days. If feeling any symptoms at all, it is not recommended to donate. It is wise to drink lots of water as well as a high protein and iron diet, since they check your iron levels when you donate. It is important to plan for the day and to not participate in excessive exercising.
Gunderson said, “Donate blood. Don’t be afraid. One donation can help three different people.”