NY Blood Center Blood Drive

Seohyung Lee ’23

The New York Blood Center hosted a blood drive in the Athletic Center lobby last month in the midst of a blood emergency in desperate efforts to replenish the extremely low summer blood and platelet supply. 

“Right now, blood products are being distributed to hospitals faster than donations are coming in, which is why we are making this emergency request for donations,” said Nick Gehrig, the communications director for Red Cross Blood Services. “Donations are urgently needed now to meet the needs of hospital patients in the coming days and weeks. It’s the blood donations on the shelves that help save lives when an emergency occurs. If you’ve thought about giving blood and helping to save lives, now is the time to do it.”

 Director of External Programs Jim Truslow adds that “along with their need for blood, they are in need of more volunteers and staff – medical professionals who can work these blood drives. Their lack of staff numbers has affected the amount of drives they can do and the length of time people can stay at a drive.”

Numerous Peddie students and faculty showed up to donate blood. According to Truslow, the “NYBC collected 32 pints of blood from faculty, staff, students and local neighbors at the November 8 blood drive. Those 32 pints can save up to 96 lives.”

It was Karishma Gupta ’23’s first experience donating blood. “I was really nervous at first, but when I thought more about the cause and the impact of this simple act, I got more excited about it,” Gupta recalled. “I almost passed out, so that was not really fun. I really liked getting the sticker. I put it on my laptop.”

The Peddie Red Cross Club, with the permission of Truslow, was on site from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. to volunteer their time and efforts in helping out the New York Blood Center team. They went through a brief but thorough training to assist donors during and after the procedure by watching a blood work volunteer crash course video. 

Benjamin Joo ’24, leader of the Peddie Red Cross Club, explained that the volunteers “got to help blood donors transition back to their normal state by making sure they didn’t collapse and providing them with a beverage and snack. It was vital that they stay hydrated and eat something after the extraction.” Reminiscing on his experience volunteering, he says,“It was very fun talking to the donors, helping them recover from such a bold experience! I was also surprised to see that so many people came to donate blood and were willing to help the amazing nurses.”

The blood drive was not only an essential medical emergency countermeasure but was also a significant opportunity for the Peddie community to give back to folks in need. As Gupta aptly put it, the two cups of blood taken from the donors can easily be replaced, but for someone else, it can be essential to their health and well-being.