‘The Red Liquid of Life:’ Wilkes to host blood drive


Jesse Chalnick

A student gets blood taken at a February 2017 blood drive held by Wilkes University and the American Red Cross.

Seth Platukis, Staff Writer

Have you ever thought about donating blood?

On Sept. 19 you won’t have to think any further, and instead you can simply donate at the Henry Student Center Lounge, located on 84 W. South St. in Wilkes-Barre.

Due to recent natural disasters and events, including hurricanes Harvey and Irma, there is an even greater need for many necessities than before, and blood is something that is always crucial for survival.

According to the American Red Cross website, approximately 36,000 units of red blood cells are needed every day in the U.S. alone, adding up to nearly 21 million blood components transfused each year. In efforts to try and help the people affected by these happenings, Wilkes University has dedicated one of its four blood drive events to helping these victims. 

Megan Boone Valkenburg, coordinator of student development who oversees the efforts being made regarding the blood drive, explained that to donate, one must designate an hour-long time slot by setting up an appointment anywhere from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at redcrossblood.org.

Upon arriving at the site, donors go through a screening process where a full nursing staff will be on hand to ask a few health questions. After this step, the same officials will perform a finger prick and temperature to check your vital levels.

All that’s left after this is to wait, be called on, and go through the process of donating. There are refreshments provided afterward to help the recovery process.

Boone Valkenburg explained that the need for blood after any type of natural disaster is so crucial that it usually determines whether a large portion of people survive. Not only is  it important to give to help local individuals, but it is just as important to contribute to your fellow Americans afar because, as she put it, “you never know when you’re going to be the next recipient.”

College students are also some of the best to provide because of how easily students recover and bounce back from the process. 

Sophomore communication studies major Sarah Matarella has always felt strongly about blood donation. 

“It’s something so easy to do, it doesn’t take long, and I want to help these people in any way I can,” she explained.