Students give time, blood at two drives

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Student Wellness Programs worked with Michigan Blood to host two blood drives this past Tuesday and Wednesday. The drives ran from noon until 6 p.m. in the Alumni Lounge.

According to Program Coordinator & Assistant Director of Student Wellness Programs Cortney Heileman and Wellness Intern Cierra Hessbrook, they have collaborated with Michigan Blood, a nonprofit blood bank that provides blood for 75 local Michigan hospitals, for years.

“We put on programs with the goal to educate students in a fun and friendly environment,” Hessbrook said.

The Wellness office creates and distributes promotional materials around campus and through social media platforms.

This year, 138 donors were attracted to the blood drive. Students, faculty and staff were encouraged to schedule appointments online prior to arrival, but walk-ins were also welcome.

“I had to find hours to volunteer [for my public health class],” said Broderick Flynn, a senior in the pre-vet program. “Everybody gets the email about the blood drives (from the weekly event blasts).”

He also got a call from Michigan Blood regarding the recent hurricanes and high need for donations.

Flynn is not new to the blood donation scene. He volunteered in high school and has donated at least once a year since then. However, some students do not have the opportunity to learn or donate before college.

Madison Cofer, a sophomore biology major, did not give blood until her freshman year of college.

“They get people in and out fast,” she said. “I was only here for 30 minutes. I have had good experiences in the past (donating on campus).”

Cofer learned of the blood drive from someone’s Snapchat story and decided to bring a friend and donate because of her past positive experiences.

“My dad is a nurse,” Cofer said. “I’m going into health care, so I know the need for blood [is high]. Not a lot of people know about the benefits of (donating).”

Both students believed the blood drive was well-organized and quick. They thought it was convenient and beneficial to students on-campus.

“It’s a good idea [to host blood donations on-campus] because it gives students the opportunity to donate blood, where if there was one off campus, not everybody would be able to find a ride or the time,” Flynn said.

Cofer also had some advice for incoming freshmen interested in attending the event, saying that the blood drives aren’t as intimidating as they may look.

“The amazing aspect of having a partnership with Michigan Blood is that they too are dedicated to community engagement and service, just like we are at SVSU,” Heilman said.