NIU Human Resource Services to host blood drive

By Kelly Marshall

The month of January is National Blood Donor Month and NIU Human Resource Services will host a blood drive from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday. The blood drive will take place in the Heartland mini-coach, which will be parked outside the Human Resource Services office, 1515 W. Lincoln Highway. Appointments can be made online and walk-ins are welcomed. Attendees should be hydrated and have eaten a good meal. Photo ID is required. All donors will receive a $10 Target gift card while supplies last.

Human Resources has been annually hosting the blood drive since 1990. Students can walk in or set up an appointment. In 2011, 10 people donated and in 2010, 11; the goal this year is to try to get 13 donations. Students are encouraged to come out and donate blood. “We don’t receive any benefits for this blood drive,” said Sandra Woodson, Human Resource Center representative. “Our purpose for the blood drive is to just get the word out.”

Heartland Blood Centers, 2428 Sycamore Road, is an independent, not-for-profit blood center serving 47 hospitals including Kishwaukee Hospital. Heartland Blood Centers has been hosting this blood drive since 1985 and has been working with the Human Resource Services every year. The process for whole blood donation usually takes about one hour. The blood collection itself is usually about 10 minutes. A single donation may help as many as three different patients in your community hospital. Heartland Blood Centers recommends that volunteers donate every eight weeks to assure that the blood will be available for those in need. Because blood cannot be manufactured, the only source is volunteer blood donors.

The donation process includes registration, a brief medical screening, blood collection and refreshments. “After, the donation the blood is taken to our testing center in Aurora and is tested,” said Jamie Lauer, Heartland Blood Center marketing representative. “No matter how many times a person has donated, the blood is tested after every single donation.”