Penn State’s Dance Marathon (THON) is a few days away, but the opportunity to donate is still open. The American Red Cross is holding a series of blood drives on campus and will donate money for every blood donation. For every donor, the American Red Cross will donate $2 and the Blaise Alexander Family Dealership will donate 25 cents to THON. Donators can credit their donation to the THON fundraising organization of their choice.
There are two more blood drives left in this series. The next blood drive is on Feb. 16 at the Millennium Science Complex at 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. The last drive is at the Nittany Lion Inn on Feb. 19 on 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Melissa Wolf, the coordinator of the blood drives, reminds students that cancer patients are one of the biggest users of blood transfusions and that blood is an important part of treatment in the fight against cancer.
“We need to cultivate the next generation of donors and right now that’s college students,” said Wolf.
Many students have already taken part in donating blood.
Stephen Tornetta, a freshman majoring in computer science, donated for the first time at one of the THON blood drives. “I decided to donate because I was volunteering first and at the end of my shift I thought that I really needed to donate,” says Tornetta. “A lot of people say that they’re nervous because of the needles but it wasn’t too bad.” Tornetta credited ATLAS with his donation.
Riley Hellings, a junior majoring in psychology, is a member of Gamma Sigma Sigma, a service sorority that was helping with the blood drive. “This is my ninth time donating and I try to donate as much as I can,” says Hellings. “When I heard they were donating to THON, I thought it was the perfect opportunity.”
“It was something that I always wanted to do to help others and it’s a pretty easy way to do that,” says Margaret Meglio, freshman majoring in education.
Lisa Livote, a freshman majoring in biomedical engineering, is working as a volunteer at the blood drives. “It’s a good cause because, even though no one really realizes it, there is a huge blood deficit at hospitals all over the country,” says Livote. “So the more people that donate, the more people we can actually help.”
There is still time to donate to the blood for these drives. Those wishing to donate this week can sign up on the Red Cross Blood Donor App or at redcrossblood.org.
“We can’t make blood in a factory; it can only come from people,” says Wolf. “This is a chance to help cancer patients in a more physical way.”