Blood drive at Great Hall draws crowd

Sienna Jackson / Roundup

The American Red Cross hosted a blood drive at Pierce College on Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Great Hall.

The donated blood will be distributed to hospitals across Southern California.

“I want to help people,” said Isaac Paladino, an 18-year-old political science major at Pierce and a first-time donor. “I know people need the blood more than me. I have plenty.”

For Paladino, giving blood was also about the hopes of reaching more than local hospitals and medical locations.

“I’d like to see the blood go to the circus, to help aging circus performers,” he added, drawing a laugh from other students waiting to donate.

Potential donors were submitted to a brief physical examination and were required to give their name, weight and a short medical history before they could be cleared to donate 1 pint of blood.

Throughout the day, the drive saw a greater turnout than expected, extracting an estimated 70 pints of blood by the end of the day.

“Every two seconds, somebody needs blood,” said Nadia Mills, a donor recruitment associate for the Red Cross.

In the five years she has worked with Red Cross, a drive has been hosted on the campus each year, organized by Mills in partnership with the ASO.

“One unit of blood, one donation, can save three lives,” said Mills. “Every donation in this room means a lot.”

The donated blood will be sent to a lab in Pomona to be tested and filtered before storage. The units can then be distributed to hospitals on demand.

“I can help people, I have the extra blood,” said Gabriel Mellibosky, 20-year-old agriculture engineering major.

Mellibosky has donated before in drives hosted at Pierce.

“I’m used to it, it doesn’t hurt, just a little prick,” Mellibosky said.

The American Red Cross – http://www.redcross.org/

Donation Page – http://www.redcrossblood.org/