Students could be seen sporting arm bands of red, blue, green and a variety of other vibrant colors after donating blood for the blood drive on Wednesday, October 3rd at McIntyre Lounge.
The drive, organized by the Campus Ministry of Saint Peter’s University and conducted by the Blood Center of New Jersey, collects donated blood in order to help burn victims, surgery patients, trauma victims, cancer patients, as well as others.
Erich “Doc” Sekel, Associate Director of Campus Ministry for Community Service, was in charge of organizing this blood drive.
“A lot of people came out,” said Sekel. “We actually had the most in my four years here. We got 65 units this year.”
“It’s a pretty easy way to go out and do something to help,” said Matthew Feeney, a Sophomore who has donated blood ten times. “They say giving blood is like literally giving life to people. It’s this nice image that you get where you’re taking some of your own life and giving it away to someone else. It makes a huge difference. That’s why we do it, because it’s so important.”
“My sister is a registered nurse and she’s always talking about the importance of blood drives,” said Mary Steele, a donor. “When the shortages are bad, it gets really bad. I am saving lives for just an hour of my day. I feel like a good person.”
“The Blood Center of New Jersey needs to have 250 people donate blood every day in order to meet the needs of patients in the hospitals and medical centers we service,” according to the Blood Center of New Jersey’s website.
The Blood Center of New Jersey was established in 1947 and now supplies over 100,000 blood products every year to New Jersey’s medical centers and hospitals.
“The mission of The Blood Center of New Jersey is to serve the patients, physicians, hospitals and medical centers in New Jersey by providing the safest, most technologically advanced blood and blood products of the highest quality,” according to the Blood Center of New Jersey. “We will promote and encourage blood donation by volunteer donors as a vital civic responsibility and advance the knowledge of transfusion medicine through educational programs.”
While the turnout for this year’s blood drive was the highest in four years, Sekel hopes to improve that number still.
“We are going to try to incorporate more of an educational part to blood drives and to recruiting,” said Sekel.