The emergency blood drive was able to hit their goal of 30 units this past Wednesday. The drive was held outside Blum Union in parking lot D. Students were able to donate blood inside the donor bus to help lessen the risk of spreading COVID-19. Certain amounts of students were let inside at a time and the bus was sanitized as people were coming and going. In all, the blood drive was able to collect 32 units.
Latoya Muhammad, director of multicultural education here at Missouri Western, helped set up this blood drive with members of student involvement and Missouri Western’s fraternities and sororities. They helped schedule the drive, blocked off the parking lot, and helped advertise it to the Missouri Western community. Muhammad explains some of the challenges that occurred planning the drive.
“I think the biggest challenge for us is just really going to be COVID,” Muhammad said. “If we would have been able to have it on the inside we probably would have had more people, and we would have more slots available for people to take advantage of and people wouldn't have to wait, because there was only a certain amount of people that could be on the bus at one time.”
This drive was very important as there is a big blood shortage going around at this time. Due to COVID-19, people aren't going out to donate blood in fear of the virus. Because of this people with bad health in need of blood aren't getting the help they need. Flu season is coming right around the corner which will also impact donor turn out. For these reasons Missouri Western wants to help decrease the shortage.
Courtney Addison is in her third year here at Missouri Western majoring in psychology. She expresses the importance of donating blood.
“I think it's really important to donate blood, because it can save a lot of lives,” Addison said. “I think it's something that we run out of fairly quickly and the fastest. So when there is a blood drive I definitely say that if you match the blood drive criteria you should donate.”
Muhammad believes that it’s everybody's personal choice in deciding on donating blood or not.
“So there's lots of different reasons why people don't donate or they can't donate or, you know, there's a fear of donating,” Muhammad said. “You know if you are thinking about it, definitely reach out to the community blood center or even the Red Cross, you know, to understand what it takes to donate blood and talk over any fears that you may have so that maybe they can help ease them.”