Stony Brook University hosted its annual 9/11 Blood Drive on Monday, September 11, 2017. Donors came out in droves and 389 pints of blood were donated during the event, which exceeded the University’s goal of 300, making this the second best 9/11 drive ever, behind only 2013 (392 donations). Every pint collected has the potential to save three lives, which in this case totals 1167.
The continued success of such events is made possible by the Stony Brook University Blood Drive Committee (SBUSBDC), which comprises students who donate and/or volunteer their time at blood drives. Volunteers are an essential part of the process: they make posters, recruit donors, and are present at the blood drives to assist donors and nurses.
The need for donations is always critical, as blood products have a short shelf life, ranging from five to 42 days depending on the component, so the blood supply needs to be replenished constantly. These demands are only amplified by the emergency relief efforts which are presently in full force throughout Texas, Louisiana and Florida, in the devastating aftermath of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. The New York Blood Center has sent a large portion of their recent donations to help the victims of these historic storms.
“95% of the population will have used blood or a blood product by the time they reach 72 years of age,” said Michael McDonagh, President of SBUSBDC and sophomore in the Computer Science program at Stony Brook. “Blood is in constant demand for accident victims, burn victims, surgery and cancer patients, and people with sickle cell anemia and hemophilia. Every day, over 2000 pints of blood are used in 200 hospitals throughout New York and New Jersey, so the local community blood supply depends on donors like you.”
Each semester the Staller Center donates vouchers to be given out to all blood donors as an incentive for donating. The vouchers are each good for two tickets to one film during the Staller Center’s Friday Night Film Series. Other participating sponsors include the Division of Student Health, Wellness and Prevention Services and the Undergraduate Student Government. The Student Health Advisory Committee (SHAC) is also a consistent sponsor.
“It is always a joy to be reminded of how wonderful and altruistic the dedicated students on this campus are,” said Kathleen Valerio, Health Educator, Peer Education Program Coordinator and Advisor to the SBUSBDC. “The enthusiasm of the student organizations results in positive outcomes impacting thousands of lives and that’s a powerful message.”
Those who missed out on the opportunity to donate, but would like to participate, will get another chance on Monday, September 25, between 11:00 am and 8:00 pm.
Those who are not able to donate at this time are always welcome to consider donating directly to Stony Brook University Hospital Blood Bank. They are open six days a week, and are always in constant need of blood donors. To learn more; to schedule your donation appointment, please call 631-444-DONATE (444-3662).