Relaxing in a reclining chair, Weber State senior Clint Hartmann waited casually while a small plastic bag below him slowly filled with his blood.
Occupying one of the 12 chairs in the Ballroom A auditorium, Hartmann was one of the many wildcats to roll up his sleeves at Weber State’s “I Bleed Purple” blood drive.
From Sept. 9th through the 12th, the WSU annual blood drive opens every morning at 9 a.m. in the Shepherd Union.
Here, wildcat students and faculty alike are welcome to stop by and donate a pint of blood.
“I donate blood whenever it is available on campus,” said Hartmann, who donated his blood earlier this Wednesday.
Kicking off its fifth year hosting the blood drive, Weber State is competing in the annual statewide Blood Battle to collect the most blood.
According to Erika McDonald, this year’s blood drive coordinator, the goal is to hit 500 liters by the end of the week.
She said the blood drive is off to a good start.
“This year we did 70 liters on the first day, which is the best we’ve done out of the five years,” McDonald said. “I think we’ve done a pretty good job so far.”
For McDonald though, winning isn’t everything. She believes the blood drive offers Wildcats a chance to give back to the community by donating blood during their free time.
“It’s important for students to donate because it’s a really simple act of service,” McDonald said. “You’re helping to save lives.”
Not only can donors feel good about helping others, but they can also go home with some prizes of their own such as free t-shirts and gift cards.
Donors are also treated to snacks and bottles of water while they wait and can even participate in a lively game of NERF tag held in a closed off section of the auditorium.
“The NERF battle is for anyone. You can do it while you wait or you can do it when you’re done,” said Jesse Holt, account manager at the American Red Cross and community partner at the blood drive.
According to Holt, the overall process of donating blood can take up to an hour.
Most of that time is spent beforehand where donors register and undergo mini-physicals to determine if they’re healthy enough to donate blood.
From weight standards to age requirements, not everyone is eligible to donate blood.
However, according to Holt, there are more ways to get involved in a blood drive than just donating blood.
“The best thing you can do, if you can’t donate, is to find someone else that can donate for you on your behalf,” said Holt, who also said that volunteering when you can is another great way to get involved.
According to McDonald, the blood drive can have up to three to four volunteers every half hour per day.
For her, seeing how willing people are to help is what she enjoys most about being involved in the blood drive.
“I just love seeing all these people that want to come help, that want to come donate, and they’re just so genuine about it,” McDonald said. “Amazing people have come in, just really great people.”
For Larissa Jiron, freshman at Weber State, volunteering at blood drives is just something she does.
“I like to donate because it helps other people in need,” said Jiron. “And maybe one day I might need it too.”