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By B. A. Woodruff
CCC Journalism Program

BLACKWOOD – Students looked on in the Connector Building with the same befuddled question among them: “There’s a blood drive today?” A sea of blue could be seen as nurses set up tables and syringes with tons of boxes in tow on Nov. 29.

Twice a year the American Red Cross comes ready for the students of Camden County College to distribute their gift of blood to those in need.

Blood donation at the American Red Cross started with Dr. Charles R. Dew in the 1940s, when he began a processing program for English war victims. Today, the American Red Cross works with more than 50,000 blood drive sponsors. They host more than 200,000 drives at convenient locations.

The American Red Cross blood drive, whose official date was pushed a month later because of Hurricane Sandy, drew many eager students ready to give blood. One student, Alexi Hill is proud to contribute, saying,” I give to save lives.”

Camden County College and the American Red Cross have been working together for 10 years and each year they hope to improve. For more students to get involved with giving blood, “location is key,” said Jacqueline Tenuto, director of student life and activities. Tenuto reported 70 students came through during the American Red Cross Blood drive.

Those new to giving blood may believe the common stereotypes such as its being painful. “I think most students think that the whole procedure is painful, when it’s not,” said Kristen Hughes, the manager of the blood drive that day, who has worked with the American Red Cross for six years. “People should donate for obvious reasons,” Hughes said, “amongst them, service for the community and it just makes you feel good about yourself.”

To give blood in your local area, all you need is to be at least 17 years of age and 110 pounds, as well as staying hydrated with healthy iron levels. For more information, please visit the American Red Cross website: RedCross.org/students/donor.

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