Blood drive draws many helpers

by Alexandra Friedman | 1/24/01 6:00am

The Red Cross blood drive that occurs at Dartmouth once every term is taking place today and Thursday in Alumni Hall at the Hopkins Center.

"Frankly, there is always a desperate need for blood," said Shilpa Lamba '00, who is responsible for coordinating campus support for the event.

"This is one of the more challenging times of the year, January, after the holidays," Mike Egan of the American Red Cross said.

"The summer is kind of a difficult time as well," he continued. "Lots of people are on vacation and I think a lot busier."

There are many volunteers, recruited largely from Alpha Chi Alpha and Kappa Kappa Kappa fraternities and Kappa Kappa Gamma and Sigma Delta sororities.

"We tap into the Greek houses for volunteers," Lamba said, "and they have been consistent volunteers for as long as I can remember." Kappa Delta Epsilon and Alpha Kappa Alpha sororities have also been helpful supporters, said Lamba.

Dartmouth has been a consistent source of support for the Red Cross Blood Drives. "Although in previous years, our goals were a little bit higher, [and] more [students] came in," said Egan, "we still had 195 students [donating blood] on the first day last year, and 187 on the next."

According to Egan, these statistics differ only slightly from the statistics from a year or two ago, in which there were about 200 donors each day.

Egan said the donation process "only take[s] from about five to 10 minutes."

In order to donate, people are asked to provide identification, undergo a mini-physical examination, and answer a few questions about past and present health and lifestyle. All information is kept confidential.

Volunteers, who help out as "donor aids," will be responsible for making sure that the donors are in good condition to leave. The volunteers, 100 of which are expected, will also provide the donors with sandwiches and drinks and assist the Red Cross in the set up of all equipment.

Donors need not make appointments -- they can show up in Alumni Hall from 11:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday.