LifeShare blood drive comes to main campus

Celina Hutchens

An event coming to Kent State will not only give people a chance to save a life, but an opportunity to earn some extra cash as well.

LifeShare Community Blood Services is hosting a blood drive 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. tomorrow at DeWeese Health Center. The event is being sponsored by University Health Services.

Everyone from the Kent community can participate. There will be juice, cookies, bottled water and fresh fruit provided to those who donate as well as coupons for free food from Chipotle and Quiznos. Free T-shirts will also be handed out after blood has been donated, said Sarah Hallsky, a graduate assistant in the Office of Health Promotion at DeWeese.

Hallsky organized the event with the help of Students of Scholarship, Eta Sigma Gamma and the Nutrition Outreach Program.

“This will be the first time LifeShare comes to the Kent State main campus,” Hallsky said. “The LifeShare blood drives have been successful at other branch campuses, particularly at the Stark campus, where over the academic year they’ve been able to raise $10,000 in scholarship money for Stark students.”

She said for every 35 units of blood collected, LifeShare creates a $500 scholarship for students. There is also going to be another blood drive at the Health Center on April 19 in hopes of raising more money for students, and getting more blood for those in need.

“We are hoping to collect enough blood between both days to offer larger sums of scholarship money, at least $1,000 each will make it more substantial for the student,” she said. “If all goes well for this spring, then we will most likely hold three drives per semester beginning in fall 2006.”

Diane Van Tilburg, a donor recruitment representative for LifeShare, is a graduate of Kent State and said the best part of her job is meeting donors face-to-face and hearing stories about the impact they have made upon the community. She also said she is grateful she could play a role in helping people realize the benefit of helping others.

“I am just a small link in a chain that is saving Ohio lives,” she said.

Van Tilburg also said students on antibiotics cannot donate, but students who recently got tattoos that are healed can because of Food and Drug Administration recently approved guidelines. The blood donated helps 30 hospitals in Ohio and 99.9 percent of blood stays in Ohio, she said.

“One donation saves four lives, and it is the donors that are local heroes,” she said.

Anyone interested in donating blood can make an appointment online to avoid waiting times. Visit the Web site at www.lifesharedonor.org and type in the sponsor code “ksumain” to view appointment times.

Contact medicine reporter Celina Hutchens at [email protected]