This is the sign greeting participants before they give blood to the American Red Cross.

By Dana DiBerardino

As students enter the lobby of the Connector Building, they are immediately welcomed by a line of blue curtains. As they walk along these curtains, they see a table where Lauren Dennis is sitting and a sign saying “American Red Cross.” Dennis is an employee of the American Red Cross and is trying to recruit as many people as she can to give blood. According to the American Red Cross website, only 38% of people in America are eligible to give blood, but only 8% actually do, which means only 3 out of 100 people give blood. This means any little bit someone can donate matters.  But Dennis is hoping the blood drive at CCC will be a success.

“[American Red Cross] is hoping to get 60 pints of blood and 70 students to participate” says Dennis. Since one pint of blood can save 3 lives, 60 pints of blood can save 180 lives. Dennis says there was a good flow of people coming out to participate, yet not everyone was eligible to donate blood. The Red Cross sets aside guidelines for people to give blood. For example, donors must be in good health, must be 17 or older and must weigh more than 110 pounds, among other guidelines.

Yet, when looking past the first table, students can see another table filled with cookies, water and students who had just given blood. Also at the table is Lauren Montanero, another employee of the Red Cross, who helps those who donates and students can see her smiling and laughing with the participants at the table. “I believe in the mission [of the American Red Cross],” says Montanero.

However, she isn’t the only one who believes in the mission of the Red Cross. The participants donating blood also believe in the mission, even though there is some pain involved. Nhi Nguyen, a student at CCC, donated blood and says the pain was well worth it. “I was a little nervous,” says Nguyen, “but when the needle went in, it didn’t hurt at all. Then I felt really light headed after it was done, but I’m glad I did it.” Participants are surprised that it’s actually a very short procedure that takes a total of 5-10 minutes.

Although many of the participants are nervous going in, most of them come out with smiles and leae with a rewarding experience.

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