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The Antelope

Blood drive give students chance to save lives

Fraternity and Sorority Life sponsored The American Red Cross blood drive.
Fraternity and Sorority Life sponsored The American Red Cross blood drive.

The American Red Cross came to campus last week to let students donate blood. The blood drive comes at a critical time as COVID-19 cases are spiking across the country.

Anybody able to give blood is encouraged to do so, even outside of the event.

“It’s all for a good cause,” said UNK’s Avery Haskins, a sophomore majoring in interior design. “If you can give blood, you absolutely should.”

The American Red Cross utilized the Ponderosa Room in the Nebraskan Student Union on Tuesday and Wednesday, working with students who helped organize the blood drive. COVID-19 health guidelines slowed the process, but they did not stop students from signing up and lining up in great numbers to give blood. Especially because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the American Red Cross and the student volunteers of Alpha Omicron Pi took extra precautions to make sure every student was safe.

Blood drives around the country have been canceled due to the worldwide pandemic, but hospitals are still in dire need of donations. With at-the-door temperature checks and the American Red Cross’s extra safety measures, a safe place for the delicate work was created. 

Students who participated were required to sign up in advance, and volunteers were understanding if students could not make it to the drive in between classes.

Volunteers worried COVID-19 would affect turnout, but they were pleasantly surprised.

“We understand that for college students, sometimes we have crazy schedules, so it can be hard to commit to an exact time and date, rather than in years past when students could just choose a walk-up appointment,” said Morganne Williams, event organizer and a senior majoring in sociology. “However, we had an amazing turnout and I was so impressed with how quickly our sign-ups filled up.”

Students who gave blood also got a free COVID-19 test with the sample they donated. Giving blood is always important but with the pandemic and increasing COVID-19 cases, the need for healthy blood is even more critical. Within the Two Rivers Public Health District, hospitals like Good Samaritan will always need a steady flow of medical supplies, including fresh, usable blood of all types. 

According to Williams, over 72 units of usable blood were collected. In total, those 72 units will be able to serve to roughly 216 patients.

Although COVID-19 made scheduling the drive a challenge, Williams hopes to plan it again for next year. Students who missed the drive and still want to donate can make scheduled arrangements with the American Red Cross in Kearney. 

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