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COCC hosts first summer blood drive

Tobey Veenstra

The Broadside

Lars Thomasson, left, and Mike Lirette, back, give blood during the first summer blood drive at COCC.

For the first time on campus, the Central Oregon Community College hosted a blood drive during the summer term.

The American Red Cross ran the blood drive on Aug. 5 in the Campus Center and despite summer usually having a lower turnout for blood drives, this term was impressive.

“This is the first time we’ve done a summer blood drive,” said Marcea Vandermeer, the Red Cross territory representative. “We haven’t had a bad show rate … we’ve even had quite a few walk-ins.”

Workers for the organization were pleased with the amount of students willing to give blood at COCC.

“It’s been a good day,” said Marcus Muffley, the Red Cross collections supervisor. “We’ve had a full schedule … and it’s gone surprisingly well.”

The summer season is one of the most difficult times of the year for the Red Cross to recruit enough blood donors.

“You got fairs going on and people out camping with their kids,” said Muffley.

However, summer is often when there are a high number of patients in need of blood.

“During the summer there are more traffic accidents … and elective surgeries,” explained Muffley.

One of the reasons the Red Cross decided to run a blood drive is because of the high enrollment at COCC this summer term.

“We heard enrollment is up this summer,” said Vandermeer. “And college students are so willing to give.”

Many of the summer term students volunteered, some never having donated blood before.

“This is my first time,” said Vanessa Marsden, a COCC student, about giving blood. “I’ve always wanted to do it.”

Before blood drives, the Red Cross sets a goal for the number of donors, or units, they expect to show up and donate blood, based on the people signing up at tables set up by the organization in the weeks before.

“We didn’t know what to expect,” said Vandermeer. “We set the goal at 35 units, it’s usually set at 60 … Even though the goal was low, the turnout has been phenomenal.”

The Red Cross runs a blood drive once a term, from fall through spring, at COCC.

“We usually do [a blood drive] on campus three times a year,” said Vandermeer. “One in November, one in February, and one in May … And there’s the Civil War blood drive at OSU-Cascades, on November 9th.”

Muffley explained the other terms are busier because “the day that schools go back in session, there’s a significant increase” in blood donors.

“Usually Kathy McCabe and the criminal justice club spearhead the drives,” said Vandermeer. “We’re running it this summer with help from Dustin Moore [ASCOCC’s projects coordinator] and [COCC’s director of student life] Gordon Price.”

While usually held in the Pinckney Center, the Red Cross hopes to change this location for higher turnouts in the future.

“Our hope is to hold it at Willie Hall to make it a bigger drive,” said Vandermeer about upcoming blood drives at COCC. “We just have to work around their (COCC’s) schedule.”

You may contact Tobey Veenstra at tveenstra@cocc.edu

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