The annual fall Mobilization Blood Drive took place Nov. 19-20 in Innovators Auditorium in which students and faculty donated blood to supply local hospitals with blood for patients.
California Baptist University partnered with LifeStream, a nonprofit organization, to organize the drive. LifeStream aims to supply more than 80 Southern California hospitals with blood.
For each blood donation, students will receive $20 to fund International Service Projects for CBU’s Mobilization program.
“On the CBU campus, there are many staff, faculty and students who want to support sending our students into the world to share the gospel, but they might not be able to participate,” said Kerri Horton, Spiritual Life logistics coordinator. “What we do is advertise campus-wide the opportunity to donate blood, and it brings a large number of those CBU students, staff and faculty who want to support ISP.”
Horton has been organizing the annual blood drive since 2011. She said she supervises the blood drive, manages volunteers and works with LifeStream to schedule and prepare for the event. Before the blood drive, she also organizes advertising to encourage students, staff and faculty to participate in the event.
“One of my favorite parts (of running the blood drive) is being a community partner with LifeStream and seeing the difference it makes and how much they truly rely on the blood donations that the CBU family gives,” Horton said. “They love being a part of what we do. It is great to see an organization excited about another way of serving people around the world.”
Adam Botello, LifeStream regional developing coordinator, organizes blood drives in Riverside and surrounding areas and worked with Horton to prepare for the event. To prepare for the drive, Botello scheduled the event, monitored the sign-up page for the drive on the LifeStream website and helped manage the preparation of equipment and supplies.
Botello said LifeStream has experienced a recent decrease in blood donations at events elsewhere because of the of time donors must dedicate to complete the required steps to participate in the drive.
At the blood drive, students, staff and faculty are required to check-in, complete a screening process and receive a brief physical before donating blood, which takes additional time. However, Botello said he hopes the recent development of a screening process that donors can take before the blood drive and the importance of donating blood will motivate people to donate.
“It is a challenging industry to be in,” Botello said. “We are coming off a tough summer where our donations were at such a low level that we were having to work with our hospital partners to reschedule elective surgeries.
“We are trying to partner with campuses like (CBU) to continue to support our hospitals and make sure we have enough blood on the shelves in case of an emergency.”
Over the past few years, CBU has experienced a growth in blood donations. During last semester’s blood drive, Lifestream collected 453 donations and helped roughly 1,359 patients, resulting in CBU receiving the LifeStream Blood Drive of the Year award.
Botello said he hopes many students, staff and faculty will participate in the blood drives to provide LifeStream with a large number of blood donations to distribute to hospitals.
“This is a Christian campus with a focus on serving others and serving God, and this is an easy, free way that you can take just a little bit of time and potentially save someone’s life,” said Nathan Smith, junior chemical engineering major and blood drive participant. “I do not know why you would not spend 15 minutes to save someone’s life.”
Students, staff and faculty will have additional opportunities to donate blood to LifeStream in future blood drives and raise money for the ISP program during the Spring 2020 semester.