Wanted: donors

With the nation on the brink of war without enough blood to last another day, students pitched in and donated blood Tuesday to the Southeastern Community Blood Center.

“The SCBC is in dire need of blood,” said Carol Daws, SCBC director of community relations. “There’s less than half a day’s supply of blood left. In fact, blood usage is up, and in January of 2003, our patients used more blood than in any month in 2002.”

William Woolfork, 22, a senior pharmacy student from Tallahassee, said he felt obligated to donate blood.

“I try to help my fellow man any way I can,” Woolfork said. “If that means giving blood, then so be it.”

Though Daws said she was hoping to have 32 donors, she said the actual contribution barely met half of what she anticipated.

“We had around 17 blood donors,” Daws said.

Still, Daws said the blood collected from Tuesday’s drive will help the organization save lives and deal with local blood shortages.

“The blood from the drive will go directly to patients locally,” she said.

The Student Government Association and the Golden Key International Honour Society hosted the blood drive, held in SCBC’s blood mobile in front of the Perry Paige Building.

Lucritia Jackson, 20, a junior animal science pre-vet student said SGA and Golden Key are already making plans for next year’s blood drive.

“Next year we hope to offer a seminar followed by the drive on the importance of giving blood,” said the Golden Key member from South Bay.

The SCBC has been collecting blood for 50 years and serves 22 countries, while providing half the United States’ blood supply.

Jeanne Dariotis, chief executive officer for the SCBC and president of America’s Blood Center, said the SCBC will continue to serve America’s communities, but it will also support any of the nation’s war efforts.

The SCBC recently agreed with America’s Blood Centers and the U.S. Department of Defense to supplement the military’s blood supply during wartime, if and when blood is needed.

“Southeastern Community Blood Center will use its best efforts to help ensure that the military’s needs are fulfilled by recruiting people to donate not only for their local communities, which also need blood, but also for the men and women who are serving our country,” Dariotis said.

Dariotis said blood is always needed because one pint has a shelf life of only 42 days.

“It is the blood on the shelves that saves lives,” she said.

Samuel R. Flemmings can be reached at Rhymetree@aol.com.