We all know that helping others and giving back to our communities is a valuable and fulfilling duty we have as human beings. Unfortunately, many of us cannot seem to find the time in our busy schedules to volunteer at a soup kitchen or nursing home, or take the time to pitch in during community-hosted events. But did you know that there is a way for you to save up to three lives just by sacrificing 45 minutes a day every couple months? There is – by giving blood.
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Shortage of blood has proven to be a major issue in hospitals all across the United States. In Alabama alone, approximately 14,000 units of blood are imported to the state annually because not enough blood is collected in Alabama to meet our hospital’s demands. Nationally, only 5% of eligible donors give blood. In Alabama, only 3% donate.
There is now a way for Auburn University students to donate blood on their very own campus. Once a semester, the Auburn SGA teams with the Lee County Red Cross to host a two-day blood drive. This year’s blood drive will be held Wednesday, April 13, and Thursday, April 14, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Student Center ballroom.
Meg Ross, the 2010-2011 SGA director of blood drives, says that this year’s goal is to collect at least 107 units of blood, which can only be accomplished if students take the time to come out and donate.
“All presenting donors will be entered to win two round-trip Delta Airline tickets as well as an ipod shuffle,” said Ross. “It’s a great way to give back to the community and save lives.”
Despite common misconceptions, certain blood types are not considered more valuable than others; all types are in high demand. Common blood types are always needed, since a large percentage of the population has them.
Rarer blood types are also needed; O-negative individuals are considered “universal donors,” since anyone can take O-negative blood while those with O-negative can only take their own type. The rarest blood type is AB-negative, which only 1% of the population possesses.
Anyone in good health who is at least 17 years old and weights more than 110 pounds is eligible to donate blood every 56 days. In addition to the SGA-hosted blood drives, the Lee County Alabama chapter of the Red Cross hosts a monthly blood drive the first Wednesday of each month from 12-6 p.m. at 206 26th St. in Opelika. No appointment is needed, and the blood collected is distributed to hospitals in the Alabama and Gulf Coast Region. For more information on the donation process, visit this link.