Just my type: Red Cross Club changes lives through blood donation, service projects

Members from the Red Cross club stained wood for the beds built when working with Sleep in Heavenly Peace. Photo courtesy of Red Cross Club

By Piper Rutherford | Staff Writer

Baylor’s Red Cross Club gives students the opportunity to volunteer and serve their community through a variety of events, such as donating blood to help patients who need transfusions for ailments, surgeries and treatments.

Houston sophomore and co-event chair Marcos Landin said it is important to seek out those who are eligible to donate.

“The main problem is not that people do not want to donate blood, but that very few people have been asked to donate their blood before,” Landin said.

Carter BloodCare, in partnership with the Red Cross Club, helped coordinate the first blood drive on campus last year and the second one the week of Sept. 11.

“We knew we needed to hold a second blood drive since our first one was so successful,” Landin said. “Last year, the turnout was about 70 to 100 donors when we hosted our three-day blood drive with KA and Carter BloodCare.”

One such donor was Plymouth, Minn., senior and co-president Brianah Lucky, who said she started donating blood in high school when she found out her blood type was O-negative.

“I was told that O-negative blood types are a huge need since they are so rare, so I give blood now once every three months because I know that my blood can save someone’s life,” Lucky said. “That is why more people should join our community, which is not only for pre-health majors. I am a sociology major myself. … One bag of blood actually saves three lives, not just one.”

Besides volunteer hour fulfillment, Landin said he joined the Red Cross Club to serve those whose lives could be forever changed by his small actions.

“I love to volunteer,” Landin said. “Over time, getting to know the people at the Red Cross and its effect on the community — like donating our time to one-off events, including Sleep in Heavenly Peace — I have discovered that it is a great use of my time. I think more people should volunteer, even if blood donation may be different. It is still serving the community.”

Landin said he is looking forward to working with Sleep in Heavenly Peace again at an event in early November. Members of the Red Cross Club will be building beds for children who may not have beds or parents with the means to provide them.

“We look like an assembly line, where we cut wood, sand it, piece it together, and then they all get shipped off to those who need it,” Landin said. “During one of our past builds, I felt that building the beds with my own hands was really rewarding, especially after seeing the effect of our hard work. To see children smiling in the pictures once they were able to sit on a new bed for the first time — it is so heartwarming.”

Lucky said she is excited about branching out into the Waco community after a recent meeting with the Red Cross of Texas.

“Hopefully, we will start working with Waco High School’s Red Cross Club and can start giving presentations to schools in the local area about preparedness, which the month of September happens to be National Preparedness Month,” Lucky said.

For those interested in donating blood, Landin said Carter BloodCare has a mobile donation truck that travels around Waco.