California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB) held its first blood drive of Spring 2020 through Vitalant. The drive, a collective effort between the Campus Health Center (CHC) and Associated Students (AS), took place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Feb. 12.
The drive is one of many hosted over the academic school year. “Our goal is to bring in Vitalant and the American Red Cross, and they both come in twice during the fall, and twice during the spring,” said Campus Health Promotion and Prevention Manager Gary Rodriguez.
Although frequent, these blood drives often attract many students, faculty and community members, for both appointments and walk-ins. “Turnout has been good for this one … we pretty much [had] all of the spots taken for this drive,” Rodriguez said.
Vitalant is a nonprofit transfusion medicine organization that CSUMB has partnered with for two years. Blood donated through Vitalant reaches over 1,000 hospitals in 40 states, as well as aids in blood safety research at the Vitalant Research Institute. Vitalant operates both through donation centers and blood drives, the latter of which happen often and at accessible locations in Monterey county.
“Vitalant especially is really good,” said second-year donor Gavin Drumm.
The CSUMB community has many members who feel called to donate. Second-year donor Emma Garcia said, “I usually donate every year when [the drive] comes around, just because I like that it goes out to the community and it helps other people.”
Garcia has been donating blood since she was 16. “If I was in [that] situation, where I needed blood, I hope someone would help save me,” she said.
Drumm is also a frequent donor. “I’ve always been raised to help people … that’s given me a drive to go into the medical field later on and that’s why I want to donate,” he said.
Although he frequents several drives, he finds that the ones on campus make it the easiest for him to donate. Garcia echoed this sentiment: “It’s just a lot more convenient for me, it’s just minutes [away] on campus,” she said.
CSUMB makes it easy to donate in hopes that the community will contribute to the cause. “We want to make sure our campus is actually active in the community to make sure that whenever the need arises,” Rodriguez said. “We want to make sure that our community is prepared.”
Rodriguez is grateful that CSUMB supports the effort and community outreach.
The next blood drive should happen within the next semester. “I wish [CSUMB] did it more often, just because I would love to be a part of it as many times as I could,” said Drumm.