Published on Brock University (http://www.brocku.ca)
By Claire Gallagher
On Friday, November 5, 2010 Brock will be hosting an on-campus blood drive from 10:30 to 2:30 in the Ian Beddis gymnasium located in the Walker Complex. Appointments can also be made by calling Canadian Blood Services at 1-888-2-DONATE. Visit blood.ca for eligibility requirements and restrictions.
The student-lead initiative in partnership with Canadian Blood Services has big expectations for its upcoming blood drive. The goal of the clinic is to collect 70 units of blood from volunteers within the Brock community.
It might be a surprise for students to learn what kind of impact a collection of this size has on its recipients.
"Seventy donations is two hundred and ten lives that are being affected," said Mark Malinowski, Community Development Coordinator at Canadian Blood Services. "One donation has an impact on three lives directly. It helps three different people, which is a huge thing," he said in an interview.
For first time donors, the idea of giving blood can be a little daunting.
"Before people donate they need a little convincing," said Malinowski who encourages students to think of the larger picture. "Think of the four or five-year old boy or girl that is going through cancer treatment and think how scared they are. They receive blood everyday. That kind of takes people’s fear away," he added. "Once you do it and see how laid back it is and how easy it is, it’s easy to donate again."
Brock student and Canadian Blood Services representative, Josie Kielstra, echoes these sentiments and assures donors that there is nothing to be afraid of when it comes time to donate.
"I tell them not to be nervous," said Kielstra. "I try and stress how it’s all for saving lives. You are physically saving three lives."
The process takes about an hour from start to finish. However, a small portion of that time is designated to the actual donation. "It takes less than fifteen minutes," said Kielstra on the donation time. "And at the end you get juice and cookies."
The drive hopes to encourage students to make routine blood donation a part of their life.
"Students are really good because we, in general, are really healthy," said Kielstra who has received favourable comments from first-time donors. "Most people end up telling me it’s not as bad as they thought it would be. Most people say they’re going to do it again."
With so many worthy causes and foundations looking for support, students can take pride in the fact that their contribution is directly helping those in need.
"How many other ways can you just wake up in the morning and say, ‘I’m going to save three lives today’ and then an hour later you’ve done it," said Kielstra.
Students can sign up in person at the Schmon Tower welcome desk.