Blood drive one of APO’s many projects

by Kelli Herzberg

The annual Alpha Phi Omega blood drive was held yesterday at Simpson.

The blood drive has been held for at least three years by this service fraternity, according to senior Mara LeHew.

Prior to the blood drive, LeHew, who organized the event, said the response this year had been better than in the past due to online registration.

“The online registration has made the number of appointments increase significantly,” LeHew said. “We have about 150 people registered and expect a few walk-ins. Because of this, we were able to raise the goal for the total blood units.”

However, LeHew said the increase in appointments may not mean more blood would be donated.

“Sometimes people can’t donate due to day-of conflicts such as an illness or a low iron count,” LeHew said. “But with about 150 registered, we can expect close to 94 units of blood.”

LeHew stressed the importance of giving blood at any time of year.

“The hospitals in Iowa depend on the blood center to supply them with units of blood for their patients,” LeHew said. “I read recently 90 percent of blood comes from mobile blood drives.”

Freshman Sam Alitz said donating blood is a simple process.

“It is an easy thing to do,” Alitz said. “And it helps so many people.”

Alitz had planned to give blood but was unable to because of an illness. However, she emphasized the importance of donating blood when possible.

“I do plan on giving blood as soon as I can,” Alitz said. “Someday I might need blood and I would hope that somebody else donated.”

Some people who can’t donate choose to volunteer to work at the blood drive instead. LeHew said volunteers will not be sent away. Freshman Andrea Seehusen, while unable to give blood, wants people to know that if they can give blood, they should at least try to donate.

“I wish I could,” Seehusen said. “Definitely more power to those who can and do.

LeHew said the number of volunteers working at the blood drive has been good in past years.

“We do fine with the numbers we have,” LeHew said. “We have enough to cope on our own, plus the blood center sends staff.”

The blood drive is only one of the many projects APO does.

“We regularly serve meals at the Ronald McDonald House in Des Moines,” LeHew said. “We also annually sponsor a dunk tank … during Homecoming. The money raised is then donated to the Ronald McDonald House. Recently we started serving meals at the Catholic Workers House.”