Blood Drive Unites Community in Giving Spirit


Credit: American Red Cross

Over the past 12 and a half years, the Williston community has saved 5,100 lives just by donating 1,700 pints of blood.

On Monday May 20 Williston held its 25th blood drive. The event lasted from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm and drew somewhere around 45 donors. Each gave the standard pint of blood, which is enough to save three lives.

The semi-annual event is a joint production with the American Red Cross. The goal is to collect as much healthy blood from the Williston community as possible, which the Red Cross can then distribute to those in need. Over the years more than 2,000 people have donated. over 2,000 people.

According to the American Red Cross website, every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood. The blood the Red Cross collects is used for a wide range of procedures.

“It is essential for surgeries, cancer treatment, chronic illnesses, and traumatic injuries,” the site explains. “Whether a patient receives whole blood, red cells, platelets or plasma, this lifesaving care starts with one person making a generous donation.”

Erin Chai ’21, a first-time donor from Taiwan was really excited; she said she’s wanted to give blood sense freshman year and was finally old enough this spring [donors must be 16].

Erin stressed how easy and painless it was, and said people shouldn’t be nervous about the process. After giving blood Erin felt fine. All she felt was “a little pinch,” she said, and hopes to give blood again in the future.

“It’s a good experience, and I know that I am helping people,” she said. “It’s really important.”

Audra Kennedy has been volunteering at Red Cross blood drives for five years. She thinks giving blood is important because “you never know who the blood is going to save, and it’s always good to help out.”

She elaborated, “It always feels good to help somebody – to save somebody else’s life. I always want to encourage everybody to give back to the community.”

She stressed what a rewarding kind of community service blood drives are. Not only have donors “done something awesome” but “it gives the donors good, positive feedback.”

Katherine Garrity, Director of Student Life Curriculum and Faculty Advisor of the Community Service Club, reiterated Kennedy’s point.

“The impact is immediate and local,” she explained. “The impact and the help that you can give is worth it for a couple nerves and something that is relatively painless and will end quickly.”

Garrity thinks one of the best parts about this event is the wide range of donors it draws.

“I think it’s a good way for lots of different types of people to give back without it costing any money or having to go anywhere,” she said. “It’s some adults, some faculty some staff, some townspeople, some students and, more importantly, it helps everybody.”