Maryland Hillel and American Red Cross organize their 5th annual blood drive

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By Alicia Cherem
@cherem_a
Staff writer

This past Monday, Maryland Hillel partnered with American Red Cross to host its annual blood drive on campus. The event took place at the Rosenbloom Hillel Center at 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

This is the fifth year that Hillel has hosted this event, alongside American Red Cross. Senior journalism major Eliana Block started organizing these blood drives her freshman year, drawing inspiration from the support she offered to people after her sister was diagnosed with leukemia in 2005.

“During my freshman year I asked a Hillel staff member when there would be a blood drive. She responded that blood drives are student-led and that there hadn’t been one for a long time,” Block said. “When my friend saw me scowl, on the spot, he swiveled my laptop screen and signed me up to be a registered blood drive coordinator.”

Now, Block is amazed at the blood drive’s participants, who donate a smidgen of their time to help save many lives. Anyone is welcome to participate in the blood drive, as long as they fill out the appropriate paperwork beforehand.

This year’s attendance was no different than the last, with several students stopping by to give their time and blood to help cancer patients and those undergoing treatments who are in desperate need of donations, Block said.

Junior mechanical engineering major Harel Rush was one of the students who donated his blood Monday afternoon.

“I was very involved in planning blood drive at high school and it is still going on in my hometown, so giving blood is something very important and close to home for me,” Rush said. “You can save so many lives for a small amount of discomfort and a few minutes of your time.”

Similarly, Mia Carmel, a sophomore economics major, described the blood drive as a great opportunity to be involved in on campus. She said she feels particularly passionate about this cause because she ran several blood drives at her high school.

“I was actually planning to travel to another blood drive in the area when I found out Hillel was hosting a blood drive,” said Carmel. “I like donating blood because it is a really easy way to help people who need such a simple element of human life. Most people are lucky to have a lot more blood than we actually need which is beautiful.”

Carmel described the experience as “amazing” and said that the Red Cross and Hillel staff were extremely helpful during the blood drive, providing her with snacks and drinks at the end of the donation, taking into consideration that some people are prone to feeling dizzy or faint after donating blood.

Block said she hopes that after she graduates, another student will continue to organize these blood drives.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article stated that the blood drive was on Tuesday, but it actually occurred on Monday, Sept. 26.

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