Red Cross Blood Drive Returns to Alumni Gym, Collection Goal Exceeded


Nick Bumgardner, Editor-in-Chief, Online Tritonian

The annual Red Cross blood drive returned to the Alumni Gym Thursday.

Led by NDA students Mia Lemkuil and Zita Lulloff, the drive was a huge success, collecting 54 units of blood–eight more than their original goal.

“Blood drives are very important in providing blood to patients facing a variety of medical issues,” Lemkuil explained.

“Right now, it is especially important as the Red Cross is facing the worst blood shortage nationally in over a decade,” she explained.

Since March 2020, blood donations have dropped 10%.

This reduction has squeezed the nation’s supply of donated blood, making school-organized drives like these all the more important

To help close the gap, Lemkuil and Lulloff recruited donors in-person, via email, and through social media.

In total, 66 members of the NDA community signed up to donate.

Before donating, prospective donors have to go through a screening process.

Red Cross staff checks vitals, such as blood pressure and heart rate, as well as other relevant information like hemoglobin levels, to ensure the donor can donate safely.

In addition, donors must be 16 years of age or older and reach certain height and weight requirements for their age.

Provided everything is clear, they can then donate blood.

“The actual donation process…often can be shorter in length than the preparation.  After the needle goes in, the blood only collects for a few minutes,” Lemkuil said.

When everything is done, donors get their pick of snacks and drinks to refuel.

“Red Cross staff are there to aid you in anything you may need, and they make the process very smooth,” Lemkuil remarked.

Lemkuil is no stranger to running a blood drive.

Before taking the reins this year, she volunteered to help then-student coordinator Lainey Chosa (‘21).

With Chosa graduating, Lemkuil stepped into her role with Lulloff as her assistant.

Now, Lemkuil is in charge of coordinating the blood drive, and Lulloff plans to take over when she graduates.

For now, though, the focus for this duo is on the other upcoming blood drives this year: one on April 27 and the other on June 22.