Tri-beta hosts Red Cross blood drive at Hansen center

Farah Bassyouni, News Editor

IWU Sophomore Lyndie Shumaker and her dad, Ed Shumaker, donating blood at Hansen Student Center.

Credit: Farah Bassyouni

Illinois Wesleyan’s chapter of the Tri-Beta Biological Honors Society hosted a Red Cross blood drive On Nov. 9, in the Hansen Student Center. They host a blood drive every semester in which each pint of blood collected can help save up to three lives. 

According to an email from Anjali Patel, the Tri-Beta Senior Blood Drive Coordinator, “the blood collected by the Red Cross helps millions of patients in over 2,500 hospitals and other facilities across the country. 84 percent of blood donations are given at blood drives.”

Students were directed by the email to a link where they could sign up to donate blood using the Red Cross website. Tri-Beta also held sign up tables in Memorial Center and the Center for Natural Sciences Atrium to promote the blood drive and help students register. 

The nurses at the drive noted that the job was good, though it’s unfortunate when people find out they don’t meet certain requirements to give blood. To give blood, a donor must be at least 17 years old, weigh at least 110 lbs and be cleared for any blood infections that may harm patients. 

According to the Red Cross website, only about three percent of age-eligible people donate blood yearly. The Red Cross declared their first-ever blood-crisis at the height of the Covid-19 Omicron variant surge. The pandemic contributed to a 62 percent decrease in blood drives hosted at colleges. 

While many IWU students were present, the blood drive was open to the Bloomington community. Officer Ed Shumaker from the Bloomington Police Department donated blood at IWU because his daughter, a sophomore at IWU, had called him about it the night before. 

“I give blood every month or so,” said Shumaker. “Her mom had cancer and I saw how much blood was always being donated, so here I am.” 

Shumaker has been giving blood since college though, but the incentive back then for college students was “free pizza and pop”, according to Shumaker. At IWU’s blood drive, seating areas and free refreshments were provided for donors. The process included testing blood for hemoglobin, answering a few questions about weight, height and gender and reading information about taking care of the body after donating blood.