Campus News

Bethel Students Give Blood, Give Back

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Last Thursday, Oct. 4, Bethel continued the tradition of hosting a blood drive through the Red Cross. The drive, which was held in the Goodman Gymnasium, was open to the public. In five and a half hours the Red Cross was able to collect 79 units of blood from the 100 people that came in. “I feel like I’ve accomplished something,” said Bethel senior Angela Cornell. “The pint of blood that I donated today will save three lives. That’s always the motivation for me.” The drives are currently coordinated by Danielle Reilly, a senior softball player, who has been in charge since her sophomore year. She works with Risa Crouse, a registered nurse who has been working for the Red Cross for nine years. “We love it,” said Crouse. “We love the students here. Danielle has done an awesome job.” “They love coming to Bethel because it’s a younger community they see serving,” Reilly said. “They always have a good time here.” Bethel started hosting blood drives in October of 2008 when Cameron Branock (’09) organized one while working with the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletes (NAIA)/American Red Cross Youth Program in Washington D.C. Since then, athletic departments have continued them. The biggest struggle that Reilly sees is a lack of recruitment. “It’s hard to get the word out,” she said. “It is open to the public. It would help if we had more people connected to the community to get the word out.” It can also be hard to get students to donate. Crouse finds that the biggest reason for not donating is fear. Reilly can relate. “I was petrified my sophomore year,” Reilly said. “I didn’t give at all and I was the coordinator. When I actually did it I was like, ‘Wow. It’s just a little pinch.’” First time donors like sophomore Abby Kirk have similar reactions. “I was very nervous, but it actually didn’t hurt as much as I thought.” She plans on donating again not only for the good of others but because it felt “really good” about giving back. “It can go a long way,” she said. “It might make the difference for [someone] between living or dying.” Kirk’s advice for first time donors? “Don’t look at the needle. Seriously.”
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