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A “blood”-y good drive

Weber State University, with the help of the American Red Cross, aims to create the largest blood drive in the past decade in both Utah and Nevada.

The blood drive will take place from Nov. 30 to Dec. 4 in the Dee Events Center concourse.

The goal for the upcoming blood drive is to reach a minimum of 1,000 units of blood. The “unit” measurement varies because of the amount of blood donated per donor may be slightly different, but each unit of blood is roughly one pint.

Pre-registration is required due to COVID-19 safety regulations. Registration can be done by downloading the American Red Cross app or portal or through the Weber State Sports website.

Donors, after reserving their donation time, will enter the Dee Events Center through the eastern entrance.

WSU’s Student Body President Benjamin Ferney said one of the greatest aspects of being a part of the WSU community is the opportunity to be involved with these blood drives, no matter your role.

“Your experience in college depends on the efforts you make to have a good time and make a difference in the lives of others,” Ferney said.

Ferney also points out that it is important that the Wildcats continue to set goals and find ways to come together to strengthen bonds in the community.

Ron Goch, associate athletics director, said that this blood drive is the second drive that WSU Athletics has been heavily involved with this year.

Off-campus, WSU Athletics reached out and gained the support of several other community partners to try to make the drive a huge success.

One of the students who is helping with the blood drive happen is Whitney Olson, vice president of clubs and organizations. Olson is confident that WSU will meet, if not exceed, the goal of 1,000 units of blood.

“It’s been amazing to see so many individuals on and off campus come together to help promote this drive in an effort to save lives,” Goch said.

WSU Athletics and several other departments at WSU, such as Student Clubs and Organizations, have all come together to help encourage others to donate.

The American Red Cross donor app, accessible through the donor portal at the American Red Cross’s website, will make COVID-19 antibody test results available to all donors within a few weeks after donors donate this fall.

“Plasma from the whole blood donations made through the American Red Cross that test positive for the COVID-19 antibodies may help coronavirus patients in need of convalescent plasma transfusions,” Goch said.

Goch sees this as an opportunity to help those who are struggling with COVID-19, especially at such a critical time.

“The pandemic has made social experiences and even education difficult, but the Wildcat Family will not let that deter them from helping those that need it this giving season,” Olson said.

Olson has been involved in brainstorming up ideas and working with the American Red Cross directly, sitting in on Zoom meetings alongside WSU Athletics.

Each individual donor will be screened for COVID-19 upon entering the Dee Events Center in order to endure the safety of the donation process. The screening will involve questions and a pre-donation temperature check.

While donating blood is new for many Wildcats, including students like Olson and Ferney, there is no shortage of ways to find out how to help in these times of need.

“Giving blood is new for me, but it takes a couple of minutes to give blood. It can give someone years,” Olson said.

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