Blood Drive collects 509 pints

blooddrive10:A student grips tight while she gives blood as the phlebotomist checks the needle.:Tina Horton - State Hornet


blooddrive10:A student grips tight while she gives blood as the phlebotomist checks the needle.:Tina Horton – State Hornet

Lauren Greenwood

After working for three months with Blood Source, Associated Students Inc. and a Sacramento State public relations class collected 509 pints of blood in their blood and bone marrow drive on Monday and Tuesday.

Ashley Rebholtz, spokesperson for Blood Source and organizer of the drive, said the people who came out to donate helped support a great cause.

“Everyone has to think about the girls and boys in hospital beds that need blood,” Rebholtz said. “For you it’s just a pinch, but for them, your donation saves their lives.”

Rebholtz worked closely with Jing Zhang, professor of public relations, and his COMS 158 class to create the awareness campaign called “Unite to Save Lives,” to give the community opportunities to donate blood and to inform them about the process.

“Unite to Save Lives” brought attention to the serious need for blood donors and let people know that one blood donation can save up to three lives, Rebholtz said. One out of every seven hospital patients is in need of blood. In order to keep up with the high demand, blood has to be collected often.

Zhang got the idea for the campaign after meeting Rebholtz this past winter. She said she wanted to promote Rebholtz’s cause while also teaching her students about public relations.

“I wanted my students to have real life public relations experience and help a nonprofit organization. Our goal was to create awareness on campus and make people interested in the process,” Zhang said.

To help promote the campaign, the students in COMS 158 worked together to hand out flyers and inform local media, such as bringing The Buzz 106.5 FM radio station to play music and give out free energy drinks. The students also volunteered at the blood drive by providing donors with snacks and hosting an informational table about the positive effects of giving blood.

“Giving blood is a big deal. It’s a very simple process that is virtually painless,” said Katie Nelson, a senior communications major in COMS 158. “A trained professional puts a little needle in your arm for a little bit and then we give you food and water after.”

The “Unite to Save Lives” campaign encouraged senior sociology major Susan Reed to donate.

“I spent 45 minutes of my time and I saved three lives today,” she said.

The drive also brought out sophomore undeclared major Jonah Stein to donate blood for the first time.

“I gave blood for the free ice cream and to save lives,” Stein said, enthusiastic about the coupon for a free pint of ice cream at Baskin Robins every donor received. “My mom gets blood transfusions all the time. I donated blood not because of my mom, but because it’s just the right thing to do.”

Lauren Greenwood can be reached at [email protected].