National Cesar E. Chavez Blood Drive Challenge at Washburn

Blyth Johansen and Bianca Martinez, president of HALO, encourage students to donate blood.

The National Cesar E. Chavez Blood drive was held Thursday April 17 at the Petro Allied Health Center at 19th and Washburn. Students showed up at the event for different reasons but overall with the same goal in mind, to help the community.  

According to, The National Cesar E. Chavez Blood Drive Challenge celebrates Cesar E. Chavez’s Legacy as an American civic leader by engaging college students to promote health education, health science professions, civic engagement and saving lives.

“I try to give blood whenever they’re on campus, when I haven’t been out of the country recently. I know it’s something they need; they’re in need of a lot of different types of blood. It’s just something you should do,” said Elizabeth Sirois, junior.

The blood drive ran from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and was sponsored by Hispanic American Leadership Organization (HALO) and Tri-Beta.

Bianca Martinez, President of the HALO organization, says the blood drive is an annual cause. She was giving blood to keep up HALO’s tradition.

“It takes a little bit out of you but it makes you feel really good afterwards knowing you have helped the community out with your blood,” said Martinez.

Some students were feeling anxious and others were completely relaxed.

Helen Garcia made a last minute decision to give blood after her friend Maureen Magana-Rodriguez who is the student coordinator of the blood drive convinced her. She says she has never donated before but it’s something she’s been thinking about it for while.

“Being a nursing major you know the benefits of donating,” said Garcia.  

Aaron White, sophomore and computer science major, says being O negative he feels obligated to give blood.

“The worse part is the finger prick but donating blood isn’t as bad as it seems,” said White.

Students were encouraged to schedule an appointment in advance but walk-ups were also welcome.

“We have had a great turnout and we appreciate everyone who has come out to donate,” said Leann Delong, collection supervisor for Topeka Community Blood Center.

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