Oklahoma Blood Institute (OBI) hosted a blood drive in the Allen Chapman Student Union last Tuesday and Wednesday, and many students dropped by to give blood to those in need.
The students, eager to give back to their community and take on the #BloodDonorChallenge, came for many reasons. For sophomore Summer Post, the reason she gave blood is simple: “I came because, going into the medical field, I realized how important it is to have blood donations on hand in hospitals, so I love knowing that my contribution could help save a life.” She even brought her friend, junior Brittany Box, along with her to donate: “I decided to come in because of Summer!”
Junior Matthew Tygart also expressed his reason for donating: “I’m in here today because my fraternity, Kappa Alpha Order, really prompted us to come and give blood. Today is actually my first time ever giving blood. I just want to help out others through service by giving somebody else the blood they need.”
Other students also took the opportunity to give to those in need, including Ryan Ogilvie, Tucker Watts, Majid Al-Siyabi, and Brandon Vu.
Before giving blood, students had to go through a screening process, which consisted of fifty-one questions about their medical and travel history. Additionally, students also had to pass a physical ability test.
As a reward for donating, students got to choose from a variety of snacks, including Papa John’s pizza.
Among the students giving blood were multiple volunteers, staff and nurses helping students through the screening process, unpacking boxes, and taking blood, all in an effort to keep the blood drive rolling.
Staff member Ashley Hinson, a recruiter for OBI, started this process by getting the students in the door: “My job is to work with the Student Association here at TU to develop a marketing concept that gets the word out to the students.”
This all happens even before OBI sets foot on campus. As for the actual day of the blood drive, Hinson says, “The donor services come in and actually execute the drive. I went around and tried to just talk to anybody I could and ask them to come donate, because every donation saves up to three lives.”
These donor services include the help of volunteers, like freshman Megan Skocdopole: “I decided to volunteer because I want to be able to give to people that can’t get the things that they need when they require medical attention.”
To provide context to the amount of blood that’s needed on a daily basis, Hinson noted, “It takes about 1,000 units (or pints, which are equivalent to one individual donation) of blood to supply the state of OK every single day. So, for instance, our goal today is 50 [units]. So, 50 out of 1000, you do the math. We’re doing about 20 to 50 blood drives depending on the goals every day in Oklahoma. That’s why we’re here!”