Sep 11, 2007

Record number of students donate blood

by Othón Zermeno, News Reporter

Last week hundreds of Liberty students volunteered to donate blood at the first campus blood drive of the school year. The drive was the most successful that the American Red Cross has had thus far at Liberty and ran from September 4-7.


In the past, the bloodmobile would come to Liberty for three days, and the sign up slots would be 75 to 85 percent filled. This time, however, the slots were completely full, and there was an extra day added.


There was more than one reason for the increase. Liberty currently has more resident students than ever before in its history, and this was the first time the American Red Cross decided to offer prizes for donors. Every donor received a free T-shirt and was automatically entered into a daily drawing for an iPod Shuffle and a single drawing of an 883 Harley Sportster.


Several volunteers said they were donating for extra credit in classes. Such was the case of freshman Dana Yarbrough, a business major from Georgia, who said she would not have donated otherwise because she does not like needles.


Some of the volunteers, unfortunately, were not able to donate. Mike Zeigler, a senior Biology major, said he always wanted to do it but never had the time. This year he intended to donate blood until he realized that he was not eligible due to living overseas for three years.  Zeigler said his main motivation was to help. After mentioning that he wanted to be a doctor, he said that volunteering his time for the blood mobile was a way of supporting medicine and science.


Even though this is the largest amount of Liberty students donating blood, it is not the first time Liberty has set a great example for the community.


Melanie J. Campbell, American Red Cross account manager, referred to Liberty as “amazing.” She said they draw as much blood at Liberty as at Virginia Tech, which has nearly three times as many students.


According to the American Red Cross Web site, www.givelife.org, “Every two seconds, someone in the USA needs blood. But only five percent of the eligible U.S. population donates blood in any given year. Healthy donors are the only source of blood. Currently, there is no substitute.”


Unless they do not comply with specific guidelines, any volunteer who is over 17 years old and weighs more than a 110 pounds is eligible to donate. Thomas Road Baptist Church will be sponsoring a blood drive at the Tolsma Indoor Track from October 21-22.

Contact Othón Zermeño at mozermeno@liberty.edu.


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