Molly Zatman

Copy Editor for Mitzpeh


Raphael Kesselman, a sophomore undeclared major, is hooked up to the machinery provided by Red Cross, Nov. 2, 2021, at Maryland Hillel. (Char Freedberg/Mitzpeh)

This university’s Hillel hosted a Red Cross Blood Drive on Nov. 2. The drive, which ran from 10 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. in Hillel’s multipurpose room, had 37 total donors and collected 31 units of blood.

The drive came during the nation’s worst blood shortage in over a decade. The program’s coordinator, Deborah Brown, a senior supply chain management and operations management & business analytics major, was extraordinarily happy with the turnout and units collected. She is also the managing editor for The Mitzpeh. 

“According to the Red Cross, that can save over 70 lives,” Brown said.

Brown credits the high turnout with more lenient COVID-19 procedures. 

“The Red Cross had strict precautions last year, like checking temperatures. Obviously the pandemic is still here, but some of those headaches have gone away,” Brown said. “So, I don’t think we’ll have those issues.”

Olivia Hazlett, who works on programming at this university’s Hillel, said she believes the blood drive’s large window of time helped to garner participants. 

Hazlett said that “people who are at Hillel for lunch or have a break between classes” could just stop by to participate.

Tamar Jacobson, a junior public health science major, agreed with Hazlett. 

“It’s just a quick stop,” she said, “It’s a really easy way to donate blood, and being at the Hillel is a huge convenience for me.”

Jacobson said she hopes the drives are still held after Brown graduates: “I would love to see them continue.”

Hazlett expressed an interest in continuing the event.

“I would definitely be interested in planning something like this… Deborah’s taken the lead on it, and I hope this effort can continue,” she said.

Brown has coordinated another Hillel blood drive, planned for Feb. 2, 2022, before she graduates. But, she emphasized, having blood drives at this university is more important than where they’re held.

“I’m not trying to get anyone to be an exclusive Hillel blood donor… I want people who are eligible to donate blood anytime, anywhere they can,” Brown said.

The American Red Cross club holds multiple blood drives per semester; check their Facebook for more details.


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