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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Organizing Carleton’s blood drive

Carleton’s blood drive kicked off once again, with many students, faculty and community members showing up to donate. The blood drive was hosted in the Great Hall from April 15-17, coordinated with the Red Cross. The event is put on every term, and it is a great way for individuals to have a direct way to help others.

The event was coordinated by the Center for Community and Civic Engagement (CCCE) student program leaders Nithin Poreddy ’25 and Frankie Saraniti ’25. Saraniti explained that she decided to help organize and run the event because “blood donation has always been something I’m pretty passionate about,” said Saraniti. “I was also involved in my high school’s blood donation event.” Poreddy agreed, adding “freshman year I volunteered for the drive, so I wanted to be part of the team that put on the event and get more involved.”

The CCCE office coordinates with the Red Cross to host the blood drive. “Our representative from the Red Cross is great, and we are able to get each drive set up pretty efficiently,” said Poreddy. The drives also have to be planned very far in advance. Poreddy explained, “Erica Zweifel, the CCCE director, reserves the Great Hall a year in advance of these drives.”

Student representatives, along with others at the CCCE office, work hard to plan the donation events so that everything is ready for when the Red Cross staff arrive. “Then there is a lot of publicity stuff, like hanging around posters, sending out emails and newsletters and sending out campus announcements,” explained Poreddy. “It takes a lot, but with everybody in the CCCE office, we are able to get everything ready. It is always a fun time, and it helps a lot of people.”

The event can have a very clear impact on many people’s lives. “We had a total of 175 registered donors, and twenty-four of those were first-time donors. We collected a total of 136 pints of blood, which has the potential to help over 400 people,” summarized Saraniti. Saranti added that this was thanks to the “generous people” who chose to donate or volunteer to run the event. Food and supplies were donated to the event as well for people to have in the recovery area.

Katie Rhodes ’27, who donated blood at the blood drive, explained that she chose to donate because “one day I might be the one who will need [a blood transfusion] at a hospital,” and she would feel grateful for the person who chose to donate blood. She described it as a cycle, where you give to help others because one day you might need the same help.

“If it is your first time donating, the Red Cross staff is so kind and approachable. They will walk you through everything, and they are very communicative. They take precautions too: they won’t let you donate if you are sick or if you don’t have enough iron in your system, so they are really watching out for you,” explained Saraniti. Rhodes agrees, saying “the staff is always so attentive and kind.”

The CCCE takes a lot of time to plan out the event, and it requires the coordination of many people to get things ordered and the room set up. Currently, the CCCE office is accepting applications for two more student program leaders to help organize the blood drive along with Saraniti and Poreddy. It would be a great way to get involved and make a difference.

“Even though we are in a small town, and it doesn’t seem like we would have that much of an impact, we get more pints of blood donated than at the blood drive event at the University of Minnesota,” explained Poreddy. This happens when students and faculty show up in large numbers to donate or volunteer, even though Carleton is a small school. “I love seeing the way that it brings people from the Carleton community together,” said Saraniti. Saraniti and Poreddy both highly recommend donating or volunteering for next year’s drive as a way to give back to the community.

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