Russian Orphanage Blood Drive

California Baptist University students helped save lives by donating blood to the Blood for Missions nonprofit organization, in the Staples Room on Oct. 5, 2010.

The blood donations will benefit patients at University of Southern California and USC Norris Cancer Hospital. They will also fund $20 per blood donor, which will support SunErgos International’s orphanages in Russia.

This nonprofit organization not only holds blood drives to save lives, but they also help fund various organizations.

“We have done funds for mosquito nets in Africa, building homes, a surf video that was meant to help reach a certain group as an evangelism tool and sending wheel chairs around the world to countries that need them,” Mike Mulligan, a representative from Blood for Missions, said. “When we meet with the churches or universities, they choose where they want the funds to go to and in this case, CBU chose to fund the Russian Orphanage.”

Junior Elizabeth Gonzales said, “I have a friend who went on an ISP trip to Russia and I actually found out that it will benefit the orphanage in Russia that he worked at. I look for opportunities to donate blood any time that I can, but this time it really means a lot to me because this is a personal connection.”

Donors had to follow a procedure in order to give blood. First, they had to register, fill out a questionnaire and read educational materials about their eligibility to donate blood. Then, they were called to the history station, where nurses reviewed the information with the donor and tested their iron levels. Next, they were able to donate blood, which took 5-10 minutes, depending on their blood flow.

There were 10 beds in the room and music played in the background to relax donors. After they had filled one pint of blood, donors sat and recovered in the canteen area, where they enjoyed complimentary snacks and drinks. The overall process took about 45 minutes for each donor.

The staff members consisted of nurses and phlebotomists. The nurses registered and verified medical history with the donors and tested their iron. The phlebotomists, who are blood specialists, drew blood after the donor met all of the requirements.

“I loved it. It was fun and everyone was really nice and very caring,” freshman Nicole Haines, said. “It just felt good knowing that you’re helping other people and changing lives by doing the smallest thing like donating blood. Because I have so much in my life, I just want to help others and give back.”

Contrary to certain fears, such as needles, donating blood actually benefits the recipient and the donor.

“It benefits both sides of the donor and the recipient,” Loralie Lee, senior phlebotomist, said. “It’s good for your body, heart and immune system. It is basically like an oil change to your body.”

Lee also clarified the misperceptions of donating blood.

“Sometimes people are scared in the beginning, but after we explain the how easy the donation is, the donors come back after they donate blood and it is easy for them, as if nothing happened,” she said. “When donors hydrate and eat accordingly, most of them say they feel good and stronger afterwards.”

According to the Blood for Missions website, the organization redirects funds, that are used by blood banks to motivate donors, to help people in need. Blood banks typically spend $20 in the promotion and recruitment of one blood donor. They do not give t-shirts or other incentives; instead they donate $20 per blood donor to those in need.

At this blood drive, the 95 pints of blood were collected, which will affect 285 hospital patients. $1,900 was raised for SunErgos International’s orphanages in Russia.

“It was a good experience overall, and I would definitely donate to this organization again,” Gonzales said.

For further information about this organization and how you can help, go to www.bloodformissions.org