ConnectLife hosted blood drive at Niagara University on Nov. 10-11
By Kaylee Brennan
ConnectLife hosted a blood drive at Niagara University in the multipurpose room at the Gallagher Center, and more than 100 NU students donated their blood.
ConnectLife is a nonprofit organ procurement organization and community blood bank that has partnered with Niagara University and many other places around Buffalo for many years.
In the past, ConnectLife would come to the college two or three times a year – with the exception of last year during the pandemic. It is usually set up for two days and has received 50 to 60 donors each day during past drives.
Students who were eligible had the opportunity to book an appointment ahead of time or could have walked in and waited for a time slot if they decided at the last minute to donate. They were provided with snacks and hydration, and had to answer a few brief questions and do a few quick tests before they proceeded to get their blood drawn.
With the deed of donating comes benefits for the students, as well. First of all, each donor receives one hour of community service. This is important for students, especially ones in a club, because most of them need a certain amount of community service hours throughout the semester. What probably drew students to the drive more was the two tickets to an upcoming Sabres hockey game that ConnectLife gave every donor during the month of November.
The Student Nursing Association (SNA) sponsored and worked this event, as it does every year (with the exception of last year during the pandemic).
Angela Marks, a freshman who experienced working the blood drive for the first time, said this is an important aspect of nursing to be able to witness and get involved in.
“It was pretty cool seeing all of the students who were willing to do this. They could actually be saving a life,” Marks said.
The student president of SNA, June Aiu, mentioned there was actually a complication in this year’s drive. She praised the secretary of SNA, Ariana Zapata, who ended up having to become the head of operations for the drive when the director from ConnectLife could not be there.
“The director failed to mention that she would not be present on the days of the drive. This left a huge responsibility on Ariana without any notice or guidance. With combined efforts from Campus Activities, SNA was able to successfully run the blood drive” Aiu said.
At the end of the day on Nov. 11, Campus Activities recorded 51 students donated on Wednesday and 53 donated on Thursday. Only 28 students were expected to show each day. A representative of Campus Activities said that they were “super successful,” especially since ConnectLife’s online network crashed prior to the drive.
This was an opportunity for students to get involved and make a difference in a stranger’s life. ConnectLife plans on coming to Niagara University again in the future.