Annual blood drive held

Students, faculty, staff, and administrators came together to donate blood on Jan. 25 during a blood drive sponsored by Campus Ministry, the Department of Athletics and the New York Blood Center.

Winter months are traditionally blood shortage months, so to avoid this, blood service providers have made January Volunteer Blood Donor month.

“In the United States alone, blood shortages usually occur after the winter holiday months because that is the time when most people are getting sick and less people are willing to come out and donate,” said Rose Young, a nurse for the New York Blood Center.

This year, the New York Blood Center is encouraging those who may have given blood in the past to become regular donors and are welcoming those who have never donated to become first-time donors.

It is estimated that one out of every three people will require a life-saving transfusion at least once during their lifetime. The New York Blood Center attempts to acquire at least 2,000 volunteer blood donations a day in an effort to meet the blood transfusion needs of patients in New York and New Jersey hospitals.

The blood drive gave the St. John’s community an opportunity to lend a hand to those less fortunate. This year, Paula Migliore, Campus Minister for the Department of Athletics, worked with student athletes to put together the annual event.

“This particular annual blood drive that the Department of Athletics sponsors had received about 50 pints alone last year and [hopes to double] that this year,” Migliore said.

People between the ages of 17 and 75 that are in good health can be eligible to donate. About 60 percent of people in the United States are able to donate blood yet only about five percent voluntarily do so.

“Somebody can use this blood and this is the third time I have donated,” said Nichole Duarte, an 18-year-old psychology major. “Last time they had taken my blood for a baby with sickle cell anemia so I have been doing it since I was 17.”

Many students who had donated blood at least participated once before.

Amy Pedagno, an 18-year-old government and politics major was also a veteran donor.

“I try to donate blood whenever I can,” Pedagno said. “It’s something that I saw my parents doing since I was little so as I became of age I felt the need to donate.”

“The benefit of donating is that you know that somewhere, you are helping,” said Claire Serant, an assistant professor in the College of Professional Studies. “People should at least do it once in their life.”