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Stop.... Donor Time

Posted: November 18, 2013

Here's a glimpse of the vibrant tradition of blood donation at Penn State.
A flattering photo of yours truly mid-blink, equipped with the new shirt and stickers

A flattering photo of yours truly mid-blink, equipped with the new shirt and stickers

The great battle of our time is upon us…of the fall, at least. It’s the annual Penn State Michigan State Blood Drive. Each year, we try to answer the question, “Who will bleed more?” And of course, this being my senior year, I’m hoping it will be us! To help the cause, I donated my pint today up at North Halls, at the drive sponsored by EARTH House. This is the perfect example of what I’ve found through my time at Penn State: if there’s an event, especially one for a good cause like a blood drive, you can bet Ag Sci has a hand in it. The college aside, let me share a little about how a blood drive works from a donor’s perspective, because for me, Penn State and blood donation really go hand in hand.

Knowing where the blood drive was today, I walked into Warnock Commons, immediately greeted with “Donating blood?” from a smiling girl at the door, who then directed me to the donation center. I signed up (often you can still donate immediately, even without an appointment), read the forms, got a FREE T-SHIRT, and went to the “waiting” area, where Nancy, one of the friendly phlebotomists (the people who take your blood) led me to be briefly examined. They checked my iron levels, blood pressure, and reviewed my eligibility. I was good to go! As I walked from cubicle to cot, I felt as calm as I always do, at which point I realized just how used to blood donation I had become!

 

I didn’t start donating until I came to Penn State, and I’ve only donated on average once every three months, but it’s amazing how I went from mild terror to complete peace. Donating blood makes its own Zen I guess, and I have this school to thank for getting me to that point. After I was finished, I was greeted with the usual array of pizza and cookies and chips (and vegetables) so needless to say I was a happy boy. But more importantly, I’m sure, that like thousands of others who started donating here, I now have a habit that I’ll continue long into my future.

 

The donors are only a small part of the blood drive, really. It’s the volunteers, the professionals, the clubs and orgs supporting it, that really put it together. Whether you’re eligible to donate or not, as a Penn State student, there’s always some way you can help out, and in a big way.

 

I don’t know if Penn State will win this year’s contest, but I do know I did my part, as did everyone at the blood drives. THON certainly leaves a big shadow, but our blood drives are another powerful sign of how much our school cares. And whatever the cause, it’s all a part of who we are.

 

--Frank