By Vanessa J. Hawthorne
CCC Journalism Program
CAMDEN – The American Red Cross hosted a blood drive at the Camden City campus on April 23. Seventy-seven students, faculty members and parents of students participated in the event.
Hugh Menter, a registered nurse with The American Red Cross, explained the importance of blood. “Blood creates volume and carries oxygen throughout the body. If your blood levels drop too low … you can have a heart attack and your vital organs may fail.”
Menter went on to say, “Look at what’s happened recently in Texas and Boston. Things like that show how important it is to donate, because without blood many more people could have died.”
According to The American Red Cross website, in the United States, every two seconds someone is in need of blood, and each pint of blood can save three lives.
Arlene Downed, a parent of a Camden County College student, said, “I was nervous to donate, my pulse was jumping around, but I finally relaxed.”
Downed has been affected by blood donation personally. “My daughter needed blood once, and I wasn’t a match,” she explained. “You never know when something could happen to you. That’s why I encourage people to donate. This is my second time.”
Gabrielle Summers, supervisor of the blood drive, said, “I can’t even count how many blood drives I’ve been to. I have been doing this for seven years, and there is one blood drive every day.”
Summers said everyone should consider donating blood. “We have certain criteria but everyone should try,” Summers noted.
According to the American Red Cross website, donors must be at least 16 years old – minors must have parental consent – and a minimum of 110 pounds. Individuals should also have a meal and be completely hydrated before arriving to give blood.
Jasmine Augustus, a pre-nursing student at CCC, said this was her first time giving blood. “I feel relieved now. I was nervous to donate,” she said. “The nurses were nice, they made me feel very comfortable, and I will do it again.”