Blood drive gives students an opportunity to serve

The first of four blood drives on campus this year was held on Sept. 14.


Tyler Otte

Sophomore Ari Watkins gives blood at the blood drive on September 13, 2011. | Katie Juranek/THE CHIMES

Emily Arnold, Writer

Sophomore Ari Watkins gives blood at the blood drive on September 13, 2011. | Katie Juranek/THE CHIMES

Biola students expressed today that giving blood is not only a blessing to those on the receiving end; it can be an edifying and enlightening experience for the donor as well.

First of four blood drives this year

Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital set up their station in the Caf Banquet Room from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 14 and provided students with the opportunity to take time out of their busy schedules to donate blood. Biola opens their doors to PIH four times a year, and on this first blood drive of the new semester, nearly 80 students donated a pint of blood each.

“We can give resources, time and money, but I like donating blood because I’m giving something away that is so personal,” said five-time donor, junior Annie Paty. “It’s a tangible way to serve others and even though it’s not a huge sacrifice, it can make such a huge difference in someone else’s life.”

Students go through three-stage process to donate blood

By donating blood, students serve the hospital and those living in close proximity to the university. PIH, a non-profit hospital in Whittier, organizes blood drives in the community in order to obtain enough blood to administer to patients.

“Biola is such a nice school to come to,” said phlebotomist Darlene Garcia, who has been working at Biola blood drives for five years. “I love the students here. They make the process easier and much more fun.”

Students who wanted to donate brought a photo ID and spent 45 minutes going through a screening process, the actual donation, and then a resting period. Upon exiting, students were given the option of choosing a T-shirt or a coupon for a pint of Baskin-Robbins ice cream. Within the next two weeks, they will get a thank-you card in the mail as well as a blood donor card that they can use in case of an emergency.

Students will have more chances to donate in the future.

Overcoming the fear of donating

“I know a lot of people have fears that may prevent them from donating but trying it could give you a new perspective,” senior Kaitlin Patton said, encouraging other students to donate.

While she has an intense phobia of needles, she sees donating blood as an opportunity to be courageous and try to overcome her fears. Within the last year, one of Patton’s close family friends nearly died, but had an emergency blood transfusion that saved her life. This motivated Patton to donate and made the experience more personal for her. Last year, she found out about the blood drive and has donated four times now.

“I know I have no reason to be afraid,” Patton said. “Honestly, I think of how Christ gave us his blood and when I donate, when I watch blood go out of me, I think of Christ’s blood transfusing through me. Donating blood has become a spiritual experience in a way and a lot of unexpected, cool things have come from it.”

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