APO holds second blood drive of semester today

by Cassie Lauterbach

They aren’t vampires, but they’ve come to get some blood. Today marks Simpson’s second and final blood drive of the semester.

“People are really showing an interest and stepping up to give,” senior Mara LeHew, Alpha Phi Omega service chair, said.

According to LeHew, Simpson’s blood drives are usually successful, and the number of donors increases each time, but holding it on Thursday instead of the usual Friday may have some consequences.

“Last year we had one right before Easter, which didn’t really work,” LeHew said. “But our last drive drew in about 110 people, and half of those were first-time donors.”

Many students, faculty and staff members donate blood. Associate Professor of Education Steven Rose is a regular on the donor list.

“It is important for people to take care of people, and giving blood is a tangible way to do that,” Rose said.

Carrie Van Maanen, Blood Center of Central Iowa consultant, has confidence in the number of donors this drive will have based on the amount of participation Simpson has had in the past.

“Simpson’s response is phenomenal,” Van Maanen said. “I always see such great student support. People are willing to wait even though we can’t get them in immediately.”

For Rose, having a blood drive at Simpson means people have no excuse to avoid giving blood.

“It is convenient and easy to give [blood] at Simpson,” Rose said. “I try to give every other month, so when there isn’t a blood drive at Simpson, I have to go to the Methodist church or the Blood Center.”

LeHew said it’s typical for APO to organize two drives for the spring semester instead of one each semester.

“In the fall, students are getting back to school and organizing a blood drive takes a good month of planning,” LeHew said.

Organizing the blood drive at Simpson falls completely under the responsibility of APO.

“We all work to publicize the drive and provide staffing for the event,” LeHew said. “We’re responsible for taking care of people after they give blood.”

Because of the never-ending need for blood, the age limit on who can give has been changed.

“The age limit was just lowered to 16 with a consent form, so our high-school drives are very successful as well,” Van Maanen said. “It is important to get into the spirit of community service at a young age.”

Besides Simpson, the Blood Center of Central Iowa visits campuses such as Graceland University, American Institute of Business and Grinnell College.

Van Maanen said everyone should either give blood or encourage others to give blood.

“With just one unit, or donation, you can save three lives,” Van Maanen said. “It is rewarding to know that you are the reason another person is alive.”