HALO organizes blood drive with the American Red Cross to help save lives

What comes to mind when one thinks of a hero? Is it a superhero like Spider-Man who swings into buildings to save people? Perhaps it’s a family member or loved one who has helped you through a difficult time. Many might agree that heroes are people who help or save others.

Heroes serve as role models that champion positivity and graciousness. Being a hero can seem like a tall task, but the fact is that anyone can be a hero. HALO, the Hispanic American Leadership Organization, partnered with the American Red Cross to help make being a hero possible through blood donation.

“HALO is an organization made up of mostly Hispanic students who make events on campus to create community amongst each other but also to share our culture with the rest of the people on campus,” said Ana Estrada, president of HALO and a senior political science major.

The organization also shows leadership by sponsoring events that give back to the community. One example of such an event is an annual blood drive.

On Monday, March 27, HALO sponsored an on-campus blood drive in cooperation with the American Red Cross. Donors donated either their blood, platelets, or plasma to people in need. According to the American Red Cross, someone in the U.S. needs blood and or platelets every two seconds.

Someone needing blood every two seconds means that a lot of people need blood, but thankfully, one donation can help save more than one life.

Tanner Gracy, a junior exercise rehab science major and repeat donor, tries to donate whenever he can because he has O-negative blood, making him a universal donor. Gracy understands that while giving blood is important, the prospect of being jabbed with a needle can scare off potential donors.

“The needle is going to pinch and it’s probably a bigger needle than they’ve ever seen,” Gracy said.

He also added that the process, while daunting for some, is not as bad as it seems.

Marvin White, who has been donating for nearly 50 years, suggests that new donors shouldn’t watch the process if they’re afraid of needles.

“Don’t look at the needle and grab a piece of fabric. Kind of pinch on it and you don’t even feel the needle go in,” White said.

If you missed your chance to donate at the blood drive, there will be more opportunities to donate. HALO sponsors the blood drive every year and is typically held each spring.

To be ready for the next blood drive, be sure to set up an appointment through the Red Cross app or website. Setting an appointment is best to ensure your donation, because while walk-ins are mostly acceptable, they are not guaranteed.

Donating blood may not seem like a heroic task but it definitely is. Someone in the U.S. needs donated blood every two seconds. Blood from donors could be used to save patients suffering from anemia, cancer blood disorders, accidents and surgery. By donating blood, you can help save lives and be a hero that the world needs.


Edited by Rakesh Swarnakar and Glorianna Noland