Have you been thinking of ways you can get involved in the community and be a blessing to others?
With students’ busy schedules and responsibilities, opportunities to reach out to those in need may not always be easy to find, but one simple and convenient way to minister to the community is once again making its way to Bob Jones University—the opportunity to donate blood for those in need.
On Oct. 3-7, Blood Connection buses will be available outside the Alumni Building for blood donations between 11:45 a.m. and 7 p.m., Community Service Council representatives said.
CSC representative Claire Petersen, a senior nursing major, said those who plan to donate blood should drink at least 16 ounces of water before giving and maintain hydration after giving as well.
Petersen said it’s important to eat a healthy meal before and after donating, including foods high in iron such as spinach, red meats, dried fruits, beans, poultry and seafood.
Petersen said participation in the blood drive is vital to local hospitals and patients.
“Your donation of blood can save up to three lives,” Petersen said. “The Blood Connection provides blood for 28 area hospitals and frequently experiences blood shortages. Donating blood impacts our community by helping those in need.”
Donating during the drive also offers some bonus incentives.
“This year the incentives are great,” Petersen said.
“Each person that donates will receive a $10 Walmart gift card, free Pizza Hut personal pan pizza coupon, 500 Blood Connection points that are redeemable online for other gift cards and a tumbler cup.”
Petersen said she wants to see as many students donating as possible because there are always local hospitals needing blood for their patients.
Some students who have recently traveled to a foreign country may not be able to donate. Petersen said those who have traveled should stop by the buses anyway to ask a Blood Connection representative about eligibility.
Some students may not donate because of a fear of needles or not knowing what to expect.
Alex Shaeffer, a senior English education major who donates frequently, said that those with fears should try to overcome them in order to help others.
“It’s totally worth it,” Shaeffer said. “Just do it because it’s really not that bad.”
Jordan Gonzalez, a freshman Christian ministries major, said he gives five times a year and that giving blood really isn’t that scary.
“The beginning is the only scary part,” Gonzalez said. “Just don’t watch them put the needle in and you’ll be fine.”
According to the American Red Cross, an estimated 38 percent of the population of the United States can donate any time, yet only about 10 percent do donate.
When someone every two seconds needs blood, it is important for as many eligible people as possible to get out and donate.