Service fraternity hosts blood drive for southern hospitals affected by Harvey

SAVING LIVES Pleasant View, Tenn., freshman Etana Johnson displays her bandage proudly after donating blood on Monday in front of Moody Library. Blood will be donated to blood banks in South Texas and hospitals along the Gulf Coast. Baylee VerSteeg | Multimedia Journalist

By Magdalayna Drivas | Reporter

Baylor students may feel like they don’t have the money or time to make a difference in the lives of those impacted by Hurricane Harvey. This week, an on-campus blood drive will allow students to directly save the lives of those impacted by the storm.

Carter BloodCare will have donation buses on campus all week for students, faculty and staff to give blood. Blood banks in South Texas and along the Gulf Coast are not able to collect enough blood in the aftermath of Harvey to meet their hospital needs.

The Alpha Phi Omega co-ed service fraternity is hosting the blood drive. Fort Worth junior Zane Freemyer coordinated the event and said he believes it is always important to donate blood as often as you can, especially after a tragedy like Harvey.

“We host a blood drive every semester, but we really want to get the word out about this one because the blood is going to Houston,” Freemyer said. “They really need blood down there.”

Harvey impacted the hometowns of around 4,000 Baylor students, including Tomball junior Alyssa Castillo. For Castillo, the support of the Baylor community has helped her remain positive.

“The Baylor family has been overwhelmingly supportive since Harvey,” Castillo said. “Seeing so many people on campus selflessly donate their time and resources to towns like mine reassures me that everything will be OK.”

Castillo said she was devastated that she was not able to go home to help her town rebuild after the storm. Donating blood has given Castillo a way to save lives right from Baylor’s campus.

“As a college student, it’s hard to donate enough money and time to feel like you are making a difference,” said Castillo. “Giving blood is just as important. The gift of life is priceless.”

Freemyer stressed that it is important to eat a healthy, iron-rich meal and drink plenty of water before you give blood. Freemyer said the donation process takes less than one hour and all donors will receive a free tee shirt.

“Anyone on campus that is eligible to donate should do it,” Freemyer said. “If you haven’t been told by your doctor that you can’t give blood, you can probably give blood.”

Students are encouraged to donate from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m today through Friday. Donation buses are located in front of Moody Library and the Bobo Spiritual Life Center. Donors can also visit Carter BloodCare’s Central Texas Donor Center year-round at 206 Archway Drive in Woodway.

“You don’t have to donate thousands of dollars to help change lives. You don’t need to go to Houston yourself. All you need is an hour out of your day,” Castillo said. “The people impacted by Harvey appreciate it all.”

Up-to-date information on Baylor’s Harvey relief efforts can be found at the Baylor Hurricane Harvey Response website.

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