Givin’ blood and gettin’ grub

By Jeremy Piscoran

The Heartland Blood Center mobile coach came to NIU on Wednesday from 1 to 7 p.m. in the Recreation Center parking lot.

Heartland Blood Center grilled hotdogs and gave flannels to all who donated blood.

“Our goal is to bring campus wide awareness to the importance of blood donation,” said Heartland Marketing Representative Jamie Lauer. “Student donations count as 25 percent of the nation’s blood supply and only five percent of the population donates.”

Some involved feel the giveaways attracted enough people.

“I would say [the drive] was a success; we had more than 35 donors,” said Dustin Jordan, online and special promotions marketing representative. “We have incentives such as grill sets and cooking hot dogs to spark interest.”

Blood drives are a regular occurrence on campus, usually taking place at various locations in DeKalb and NIU every week. “There is a real shortage in blood donations this year,” Jordan said. “We try to start donors off at a young age to build relationships and the mobile drives keep NIU involved.”

Heartland Blood Center contributes to various hospitals in the area.

“We supply 35 area hospitals and need to keep the blood supply up,” Lauer said. “The most common reason people say they didn’t donate is they weren’t told about it.”

Jordan said blood drives take place regularly because the shelf life for blood is short.

Jordan said giving blood benefits others as well as one’s self.

“Around 95 percent of Americans will need blood at some point in their life,” he said. “It is a rewarding experience that is also good for your body.”

In order to donate, a potential donor must fill out registration paperwork and answer questions, as well as have their blood pressure and iron level checked, Lauer said. Then they go on to the donation process, which takes on average of four to 10 minutes. After donating, donors are given refreshments and it is recommended they stay for around 10 minutes to minimize any potential issues.

There are also additional requirements for donors.

“You have to meet a weight requirement of 110 pounds and there are a number of other deterring factors, such as tattoos, sexual past or going out of the country to certain parts of the world,” Jordan said.

The next two blood drives take place today at Grant Towers and Oct. 27 at Stevenson North.

Both blood drives will take place from 3 to 7 p.m.