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Students participate in blood drive to help area supply

December 5, 2011 : Makenzie Parker/Liberty University News Service

There are several opportunities for Liberty University students to give back this holiday season, but on Monday students gave a part of themselves to save lives.

A blood drive, sponsored by Virginia Blood Services, was held in Arthur S. DeMoss Learning Center, Liberty’s main academic building.

“After seeing the need in the hospitals, I now know the need is so great for people to have blood,” said junior nursing major Kelly Robinson.

Dr. Bruce Bell, associate dean of the College of General Studies and a longtime blood donor, spoke in Monday morning’s convocation, encouraging students to participate.

Bell first began donating blood his freshman year of college, and continues to this day. Since he has been in Lynchburg, he has given 162 units. He now gives platelets every two weeks.

“There are kids right now at Lynchburg General [Hospital] who don’t like needles either but they don’t get a choice. That’s my passion, for those kids over there,” he said. “The feeling is indescribable, when you know you are helping someone you will probably never meet on this planet. You’re going to do something to help keep somebody alive, it’s marvelous.”

Melanie Campbell from Virginia Blood Services said giving blood has instant results.

“When you donate blood, you know you’ve saved three lives right then, you know that you’ve impacted immediately.”

Virginia Blood Services operates eight donor centers and supplies blood to hospitals throughout Central Virginia. They also provide the blood for nearly two thirds of the patients receiving organ transplants in Virginia.