Column: Donate your time and your blood

By Gus Bode

About every two seconds somebody needs blood. But what happens if there’s no blood to give? This is the current predicament of the Red Cross, the sole blood supplier to hospitals in southern Illinois. The Missouri-Illinois blood services region has run its reserves dry. A Cape Girardeau hospital has already started turning down people entering their emergency room due to their lack of blood.

On Wednesday, a drive sponsored by the Greeks raised 85 units of blood, with the goal being 100 units. Bob Ferrera, who is the Associate Donor Recruitment Account Manager, said he was pleased with the numbers they received.

Although their goal was 100 units, two nurses were sick that day, causing an unexpected pile-up in line. Twenty-seven people had to go home due to time constraints, according to Ferrera, so with a little more time we would have reached our goal.


There were waits of up to two and a half hours for some people, but it didn’t deter the 120 volunteers that showed up to donate. And even though the blood drive was scheduled to end at seven, the last person waited until nine to get the needle. The Greeks traditionally hold their blood drive in March, knowing months in advance where and when it will be held. This was put together in six days. Not only were they donating blood, Greeks were also helping to run the event as well. From blood runners to signing people in, Greeks stood united in a cause that affects everybody in this area.

Some people even stayed after donating to help run the drive. Former Alpha Tau Omega President and IFC President of the Year Paul Badgett was one of those people. After donating he stayed to sign people in, and left only to recruit more Greeks to come give. The only regret he had, like many of the people there, was that they couldn’t give again.

Many of the participants there grappled with their own fear of needles. Laura Stock, the Inter-Greek Council President, says she has given four times in the past year. Stock is also deathly afraid of needles. There were others who stood up to their internal fear, driven by the will to help their fellow man.

According to Ferrera, the amount of units raised by the Greeks was enough to save roughly 250 lives, with each unit saving about three people. Ferrera is running drives like these all over southern Illinois, in an attempt to increase their blood flow. The Greeks are even contemplating running one to two drives a semester.

To all those who gave you should be proud of yourselves. You stepped up to sacrifice yourself to save others, a trait that is increasingly becoming less revered in America.

There will be another blood drive on Wednesday at Neely and Lentz Hall. Come and participate, it’s an experience you can only understand after you have given. For any questions or concerns, call Bob Ferrera at (618) 303-6661.

Sophie is a junior studying radio-television and journalism.