By Staff Reports
Being a hero may be as simple as donating blood. On Friday, Feb. 9, SOAR’s Future Medical Students Club in conjunction with the American Red Cross will be hosting a Blood Drive in the AVC Student Lounge from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. to combat the national blood shortage hospitals are facing this season.
According to the American Red Cross, which handles about 80 percent of all blood donations, the number of U.S. blood donors hit an all-time low for the past 20 years. That number translates to about a 40 percent decrease or nearly 7,000-unit shortfall.
Photini Qarmout, president and founder of SOAR’s FMS, said one donation could potentially save up to three lives as one pint is collected from each donor. That pint equals about 10 units, which can be used for surgery, accident and burn victims, organ transplant patients and those battling cancer. In fact, every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood.
“The blood drive is about reaching out to the community and having our students see the importance and impact of what their donation can do, she said.
Those who donate could not only save a life but will get to find out their blood type, where their blood was donated, and a free t-shirt. There are four main blood types with AB being the rarest and O-Negative being universal, meaning anyone can receive the blood, regardless of their type.
To donate, you have to be at least 16 years of age and weigh at least 110 pounds. Students can register through emailing Photini at firstname.lastname@example.org or through one of the QR codes posted on flyers around campus. The process to donate takes about 30 minutes; from signing in and completing a health screening to the actual draw to cookies and juice.
If you can’t donate or want to help at the event, SOAR FMS is also looking for volunteers to help with sign-in, snacks, and t-shirts. Every volunteer and donor will receive community service hours.
Elizabeth Kassim, a member of FMS, adds that donating blood is “about a second chance at life for someone in need.”
For more information, check out the FMS instagram page at @soar.fms