Students donate blood to save lives

By Daynie Rivera

Some students went about their day either attending classes, studying in the library or playing pool in the Bronco Student Center Games Room.

Other students, like first-year agribusiness and food industry management student Gordon Iwagaki, decided to give back to the community by donating blood to the American Red Cross.

Iwagaki was initially motivated to donate by the Greek Life Office Chapter Sigma Chi Fraternity.

Student Health Services coordinated the American Red Cross Blood Drives on campus last week.

“I decided to donate because of Greek Life, and you get points for your help and service to the fraternity,” said Iwagaki.

The American Red Cross has been working directly with the Greek Council to gather donors.

The Blood Drives were held Tuesday through Thursday between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. in the BSC.

The goal for The American Red Cross was to raise 65 pints per day from the three-day donation period.

By Thursday evening, they ended only five percent short of their goal.

Although slightly below what they expected, substantial progress was made to continue to help those in need.

“Blood is a necessity, more people need it than are willing to give,” said Iwagaki.

According to the American Red Cross, every two seconds someone needs blood, and approximately 36,000 units of red blood cells are needed every day in the United States.

One single donor has the capability of helping more than one patient. Aside from donating whole blood, donations may also provide specific blood components such as red cells, plasma or platelets.

“Because each unit of blood is divided into three parts, a unit may save the life of up to three people who are critically ill or injured,” said SHCS Marketing Coordinator Debbie Jackley.

Often, students are either too busy, don’t know where to donate or are afraid of donating.

However, many students, like second-year management and human resources student Eva Montes, make sure to find the time.

“I encourage my friends to donate when blood drives offer free gifts or by emphasizing they are helping people’s lives,” said Montes.

The process to donate only takes four simple steps, including registration, a mini-physical exam, donation and refreshments.

The mini-physical involves checking the donor’s temperature, blood pressure, pulse and hemoglobin to ensure it is safe for the donor to give blood.

The process is short and typically takes about an hour and 15 minutes, with the actual donation only lasting between eight and 10 minutes on average.

To be eligible to donate, the American Red Cross states that donors must be in good general health, be at least 17 years old in most states, or 16 years old with parental consent, and weigh at least 110 pounds.

Cal Poly Pomona holds blood drives every month, but due to December and June scheduling of finals and breaks, the campus adds an additional drive onto the end of the preceding month.

“With the large population of Southern California, and with the demand for blood transfusions for chemo patients increasing, the need for blood is crucial every day. Accident victims, premature babies, and people undergoing surgery can’t wait to receive a blood donation,” said Jackley.

The Red Cross works with more than 58,000 blood drive sponsors each year to hold more than 145,000 blood drives, providing convenient locations for people to give blood.

Outside of school, students may also donate across the street at the Southern CA Blood Services Region, among many others that can be found with your zip code on

The next on-campus blood drive will be held May 9-11 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. in the BSC, Ursa Major C.

Students may also pre-register on the American Red Cross website.

The Red Cross hosts blood drives on campus every month.

Eviana Vergara / The Poly Post

The Red Cross hosts blood drives on campus every month.

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