The Community Blood Center of the Carolinas held a blood drive at Queens on the quad behind the Evans Clock Tower on Nov. 6.
Aly Johnson, sponsorship development specialist for the Blood Center, does staff marketing and all the pre blood drive activities. She handed out paperwork and information that the students had to fill out before they gave blood. She also answered questions that students had to ask.
Some students were donating blood for the first time. Johnson had to explain to them how the process was. Donating blood is a nervous experience for a lot of people, she said, so having a person to keep first timers call is necessary.
“I always wanted to do it,” freshman Cassidy Jordan, who experienced her first time donating blood. “It was very relaxing.”
“Everyone in my family always gives blood,” said sophomore Hakiym Roach. “My grandma battles with ovarian cancer, so I do it to give back.”
The Blood Center notices Queens has a lot of support. Donors are very strong here, said Johnson.
“We love coming here. The community blood center of the Carolinas visits colleges, high schools, companies and even churches. What is interesting is that at blood drives it makes a student’s day because they receive snacks after they give blood and get out of classes for a short period of time.”
The Blood Center is the main blood support for hospitals in 14 counties in North Carolina and three counties in South Carolina. A local hospital will call them asking for certain a number of pints of blood and it will hold a drive to try to reach that number, taking one pint of blood every time they withdraw it from a donor. The process can be long sometimes, said Johnson, but is usually quick and smooth.
“We want to try to take blood and make sure it is in tip-top condition,” she said, pointing out that the blood they are processing is not coming all the way from New York and California, but from the city, in the area and in the community.
According to Blood Center statistics, one pint of blood saves three lives.
One of the Blood Center’s primary goals is to inform people of the importance of giving blood. The night before the drive, in Ketner Auditorium, a man named Joe shared his story of how he had ulcers and a cancerous tumor that also resulted in internal bleeding. He needed a blood to keep him alive.
“I give blood every chance I get. I feel as if people in the hospital are going to take care of me, I might as well give back and take care of them,” junior Virgil Daughtery. “Every two to three months I give blood. The thing about the blood drive at Queens is that is quicker than other places. You can go to places such as The Red Cross, Community Blood Centers around Charlotte, but the blood drive at Queens is the quickest of them all.”
Even if you do not donate, the Blood Center asks all to spread the word or to volunteer in another capacity.