APO wants to know: ‘Have you saved a life today?’

by Sam DeardenStaff Writer

Nine out of 10 people who live to be 70 will need donated blood in their lifetime.

Alpha Phi Omega, and the Blood Center of Iowa are sponsoring a blood drive Nov. 5-6 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Great Hall.

The donated blood will go to the blood bank to be used all around the state but particularly in the Des Moines area.

APO is a service fraternity that strives to help out people in the neighborhood and other close towns.

“(APO is) a service opportunity for members to create and engage themselves in a positive atmosphere that helps others,” junior Greg Rhoulhac, membership chair, said.

The members of APO feel that giving blood is a worthwhile activity that helps further that goal of helping others in the community.

“We feel giving back to the community is essential in having not only a good college experience but a fulfilled life,” senior Kari Kennedy, vice president of APO, said. “Hosting the blood drive twice a year is one way we do this. Our members are the ones giving out cookies and juice after donations.

“Donating blood is not only beneficial to those who receive the blood in hospitals across Iowa, but also it gives those on campus and in the community who donate an uplifting feeling of accomplishment- when else can you say, ‘I saved a life today?'”

APO has been hosting the blood drive for as long as junior Megan Berlin, vice president of service, can remember. The goal for this blood drive is attainable, but APO is hoping to exceed it.

“Our goal is to have Simpson donate at least 150 units of blood, but more is always better – it means more lives are being saved,” Berlin said.

According to Berlin, donating blood takes about 20 minutes, and it’s a relatively easy process.

“It’s a really easy way to help out your community and save lives,” Berlin said. “More than 2,000 units of blood are needed each week in our community.”

The demand for blood is one of the main reasons why APO hopes potential donors will consider doing so.

“The need for blood is so great, it is used in surgeries so often,” Rhoulhac said. “It is very critical that we keep up with that need.”

Members of APO say not to be worried if you are a first time donor.

“I suggested donating blood to a friend who’d never donated before last semester,” Kennedy explained. “She was so excited about it, she’s already signed up for this semester. The simple truth is that you feel good about yourself for donating. And it’s always a bonus, you do get cookies for your effort!”

In order to be eligible to donate blood, donors must be in general good health, 16-years-old or older and weigh at least 120 pounds.

Those interested can register at www.bloodcenterofiowa.org.