By: Mariah Diaz – Web Editor
William Paterson University students laid sprawled out on blue navy medical beds, arms extended, as they waited their turn to save a life.
The sisters of Delta Phi Epsilon sorority and the brothers of Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity co-hosted a blood drive with the American Red Cross. The drive was hosted in the student center multipurpose room.
The event’s purpose was to help collect blood donations for life saving blood transfusions.
The drive successfully collected 51 pints of blood from 65 newly registered donors. This amount of blood equals saving 153 lives, according to results provided by Julia Lee, the Red Cross blood drive coordinator.
Ecstatic to have received this much blood donation, Lee shared that besides working for the Red Cross, she is also a blood donor herself.
“In our busy world, it can feel like one hour of donating blood is a lot of time,” Lee said. “But when you think about it, your one hour can mean life for someone that needs it.”
Lee also stressed that every two seconds in America, someone needs blood. Being that she is a healthy person, she feels that giving blood is her small contribution to the community in her efforts to save a life.
Sitting at a table, recovering from giving blood with a huge bandage on her arm, was WPU student Cassandra Wojdylak. She shared that she gives blood for one specific reason.
“My grandfather had terminal cancer and needed several blood transfusions while he was sick,” said Wojdylak. “He passed away from the cancer, so giving blood is my way of giving back since people donated blood for him.”
Knowing that people donated blood to help save her grandfather is what motivates Wojdylak to donate. Even though she lost her grandfather, she hopes to save others through the blood she is donating.
Wojdylak was asked how she felt while she was having her blood taken. “My arm hurt a little, but other than that it was worth it,” she said.
Jennifer Baum, another WPU student, sat with juice and cookies at the recovery table after having just donated blood. Baum shared that this wasn’t the first time she has donated blood.
“I’ve donated so many times and I like doing it,” Baum said. “I’m also not scared of needles!”
Not only were there many donors, but there were also many volunteers as well. There were around 20 Delta Phi Epsilon sisters and 20 Tau Kappa Epsilon brothers volunteering overall during the drive.
Aaron McSweeney, a Tau Kappa Epsilon brother, helped by distributing cookies and juice to blood donators and by keeping an eye out for anyone he thought may faint.
“I volunteered because I wanted to make a difference in the life of someone who may be less fortunate than I am,” said McSweeney.
McSweeney also said that it was important for him to volunteer at this blood drive because he would not be able to donate due to the fact he was still recovering from the flu.
Jefferson Belfort, another Tau Kappa Epsilon brother, was working on recruiting people to come into the blood drive and assisted people who decided to sign up.
“I would definitely volunteer again,” said Belfort, who added that he had also recently given blood in the past six months but did not donate at this specific drive. “Volunteering is the essence of humanity and you leave your footprint on the world when you give back to your community.”
The Red Cross staff worked long hours to ensure that everything for the drive was done safely.