‘We Challenge U’ blood drive draws low numbers

UCA partnered with the American Red Cross to help restore its winter blood supply at a “We Challenge U” blood drive on campus.

The American Red Cross had two donation trailers open from 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Jan. 28-30 in front of the Student Center.

While Red Cross Employee Tiffany Brown said the blood drive went OK overall, it didn’t go as well as it usually does.

“That may have been [because of a]miscommunication or not enough announcements,” Brown said. “We’re still proud that we’re leaving with more than what we came [with], but we didn’t do as good as we wanted to.”

Between both buses, Brown said they probably collected about 44 units of blood a day, while they usually collect about 60 units a day.

There are often fewer donations in winter due to weather and seasonal sicknesses, making it a challenging season to maintain a sufficient blood supply for patients.

“It’s important for us to get donors, even when it [comes]to bad weather,” Brown said.

Marci Manley, American Red Cross Communications Program Manager, said recent winter weather has caused hundreds of blood drive cancellations in 25 states, resulting in a shortfall of about 9,300 donations.

These cancellations have led to an urgent need for donations of blood types O negative and positive, A negative and B positive.

While Brown said all blood drives are important, she said college students between the ages of 16 and 25 are their bigger, more motivated donors.

“Everyone starts to see at a young age how important [donating blood]can be and then it just starts to grow from there,” Brown said. “That’s how you start to get donors who have donated for nine, ten, twenty years.”

Sophomore Jordan Barajas said he donated at almost every blood drive hosted by UCA last year.

“I’ve done it many times in the past and I just like helping out people in any way I can,” Barajas said. “And I know it saves lives.”

Freshman Amani Mnzavas has given blood four times. Mnzavas said his reasoning for giving is Christian-based.

“This is not my body; this is His, so I might as well help other people,” Mnzavas said. “If I die or if I need blood, I’ll need other people to help me, so I might as well help others.”

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