Students shuffled into the Aloha Center Ballroom and Blood Mobile on Dec. 1 and 2 as they donated blood to the Blood Bank of Hawaii. They said giving blood is a great and easy way to help and serve others.
Abigail Stuart, a junior in peacebuilding from Utah, works for the Service Center and is the blood drive coordinator. She said, “The importance of giving blood is that you benefit from giving of yourself to someone else… That’s kind of a literal statement.
Stuart said the state of Hawaii has its own blood bank organization called the Blood Bank of Hawaii. “We don’t go through Red Cross since we’re so far removed from the mainland and other places for blood, so this really only affects Hawaii. When people are surfing and get raked across the reef and they’re severely injured or if someone gets hit on Kamehameha Highway, there’s a shortage of blood. This is incredibly important for students here on campus but also for the community at large.”
Alyx Hoover, a junior from Washington in marine biology, said she donates blood every time the university hosts a blood drive. “It’s a good way to give back. It’s simple and easy. I don’t have to pay for it and they don’t either, so why not? And I have a rare blood type so they like my blood a lot.”
Stuart said, “A blood drive is great way to help the community. At the Service Center, we do our best to help students serve the community that they live in. This is a really great way to give back. It saves lives. Every person can save three lives.
“You are taking the time to let other people live, and help them have a tomorrow and have a future and a family. What you receive from it is a knowledge that you helped someone else have a tomorrow, have another laugh, another sunset, and another surf on the waves.”
Joseph Loi-On, a freshman from Wahiawa in business management, said he has donated since high school. “They came to my high school and I tried it out. I learned that you can donate every eight weeks, so I became a regular.”
Loi-On said, “In the church, we’re always taught that if we want to be really happy, we should serve others. My mission in Japan taught me that you really are happier when you serve others. It’s kind of selfish because you get happiness in return.”
Stuart said she has always given blood ever since she’s been able to. “It’s easy. You take an hour and we feed you. You get to save three lives in one hour so why not give blood…unless you can’t or you’re deathly afraid.”
Stuart said she has donated blood three times here and it has always been a good experience. “The phlebotomists that work with the BBOH are really good. I’ve never had better phlebotomists. They’re fun, good to talk to, and friendly. I have minimal pain. I’ve never had any side effects.”
For anyone who is on-the-fence about donating blood, Stuart said, “I would tell them to think about…if they were ever in a position where they needed a blood transfusion, or a family member does, or if they have a child that gets in a car accident and is in need of blood. Would they want their child to die because there was no way for them to get what they needed?”
Hoover said, “It doesn’t really hurt. You never know whose life you’re going to influence and help. It’s an act of service. I wish they would do it for longer than two days so more students can do it.”
Loi-On said, “It’s not really any crazy effort on your part. It really doesn’t take much to donate. After I donate blood I go through the rest of my day as normal.”
Stuart said anyone interested can sign up through the Service Center or directly through the BBOH. She said individuals need to provide their name, birth date, phone number and email address in order to register.