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Every two seconds someone in the United States needs blood. More than 38,000 blood donations are needed every day. One blood donation can save up to three lives.
The American Red Cross’ numbers don’t lie.
The Red Cross needs a steady supply on donators to save lives. There is no blood substitute, so without donators, the 5 million Americans that need blood a year would be helpless.
The winter and summer months are the worst for blood shortages. Despite a warmer winter this year, the Red Cross acknowledges that there is still a shortage.
January marks Blood Donor Month, but any donations the Red Cross receives throughout the year helps significantly, especially in the winter season. The Red Cross said that they are in need of all blood types, with stress put on Type O, due to its versatility.
Less than 38 percent of the population is able to give blood according to the Red Cross, but a person is allowed to donate blood every 56 days.
So what are Radford University students doing to help? Just what the Red Cross needs.
Sorority Phi Sigma Sigma and the Red Cross held a blood drive on Jan. 31 in Muse Banquet, with a great turn out.
“Students were involved in [the Jan. 31] blood drive,” said Katie Gearey, Phi Sigma Sigma Community Service Chair. “For many of them, this was their first time giving blood, but they were more than willing to donate once they caught wind that there was a shortage.”
Gearey said this blood drive had a great turnout, compared with past drives.
“I am extremely proud of both my Radford community and my Phi Sig sisters for stepping up to help with both the blood shortage and the blood drive as a whole,” said Gearey. “Without them, people wouldn’t have signed up like they did and we wouldn’t have received sixty pints of donated blood.”
Sixty pints of blood saves about 180 lives. Any help that the Red Cross receives makes a difference.
“This is by far the best outcome we have seen in all of the blood drives we have helped sponsor,” Gearey said. “We held signups at the Bonnie for a week, at least that was the plan. We ended up over-filling the signup sheet within three days, plus we had walk-in’s come in and donate.”
If you missed the Jan. 31 blood drive, there are any more opportunities coming up for donators to give blood.
“There are a number of blood drives scheduled this semester alone, which should definitely help with the shortage,” Gearey said.
Phi Sig has six more blood drives planed throughout the semester, Feb. 20 and 21, March 21 and April 17, 18 and 19, all taking place in Muse Banquet.
Gearey hopes that future blood drives have an even bigger turnout, but she is still proud of the turnout of the Jan. 31 drive.
“Many people stepped up to help in a time of crisis,” Gearey said. “And that is what the Radford community is about.”