Students save lives by donating at on-campus blood drive

Published in the January 25, 2017 issue of The Bells

Students line up outside of the Baylor Scott & White Donor Services van, waiting to give life-giving material to those in need.
Many of them are enticed into donating by a free T-shirt, free snacks, or the volunteer service hours. But most are just there to help in any way they can.
While their reasons for donating vary, Julie Skoda, Baylor Scott & White Donor Services recruiter, said the healthcare system is just happy to receive these donations.

“The main motivation in seeking blood donations on campus is the possibility to save two lives with every donation,” she said.
Skoda is often seen by UMHB students campaigning for donations. But a large part of her job is partnering with local businesses who are willing to host blood drives.
“We get a pretty good turn out here at Mary Hardin-Baylor,” Skoda said. “I usually get about 30 a day here, which is 60 pints of blood every visit.”
The recruiter’s team visits UMHB twice a semester, but students don’t have to wait for a blood drive to donate. They can visit any of the Baylor Scott & White locations to be of service.

Donors must be over 16-years-of-age and weigh at least 110 pounds. It’s also important that students are not planning a mission trip overseas if they want to be a donor because of some traveling restrictions associated with donating blood.
Tori Pharris, sophomore public relations major and recent donor, said donating on campus is much different than when she donated during her high school years.
“Here, it’s more personable,” Pharris said. “Every blood drive I walk in, and they know who I am and remember my face.”
Pharris has been donating blood since her sophomore year of high school, but she doesn’t do so for the free T-shirt or a cartoon Band-Aid.
“I donate because someone did it for me. When I was eight, I had open heart surgery and a blood drive was held in my name. Family and friends donated for me, so now I get the satisfaction of saving two lives every time I donate.”

Although the wait can be tiring, and trypanophobia (fear of needles) is a daunting obstacle to overcome, Pharris urges students, faculty and staff to consider the pros and cons of donating.
“It’s maybe an hour out of your time for someone else’s life,” she said. “You have the ability to save the world, even if your part of the world is just one person.”

Author: Tori Van Hooser

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