Project Hope opens opportunity for blood donations

Samantha Vasquez

Students at Cerritos College took time out of their day to help save lives by donating blood. The American Red Cross took blood donations in Falcon Square the week of Sept. 8 to 11, from 8:30 a.m. to 8:45 p.m.

Project Hope organized the event that occurs four times throughout the year – September, November, February and April. Project Hope is a support program for students who are pursuing a career in healthcare and science related fields.

ARC has been taking donations from Cerritos College for over 20 years.

Whenever the ARC truck is at Cerritos College, club members have an incentive to donate blood. Whichever club donates the most gets a pizza party.

Secondary Education major, Jillianne Cristobal, always participated in the event, “I’ve always donated. I’ve donated four to five times since I’ve been out of high school and at Cerritos.”

After donating, Cristobal said that the only part that made her nervous while donating was when the phlebotomist took a sample of blood from her finger. “I hate it. Besides that part, everything else went great.”

While waiting to donate blood, Julie Villarreal, English major, explains why she donates blood, “I enjoy the fact that I’m actually helping people I don’t know.”

Psychology major, Jovany Jamie, also donates to help people in need. “I like helping others and those in need. It also helps me by making me feel good; every pint I give, I help more than one person.”

According to RedCrossBlood.org, with a total of 989 students that donated blood in 2013, Cerritos College was one of the top two colleges in Southern California to have the most donations.

Phlebotomist for ARC, Armand Moreno, said, “Each day we have a projection of how many units we would want to collect. On Wednesday, that number was 30 and it was met.”

Whenever the staff is busy, Moreno is certain that it will be a successful day.

Once the ARC truck leaves the Cerritos College campus, Moreno explained that the blood goes to laboratories in Pomona, Ca. From there, the blood gets processed, tested, typed and sent to hospitals.

Moreno gave some tips for future donors, “Get plenty of rest a couple of days before, drink a lot of water, eat well and we’ll take you in no time.”

If any students were unable to have the opportunity help out in this week’s event, they can always go to the next ARC Blood Drive at Cerritos College in November or contact the American Red Cross by visiting their website: http://www.redcrossblood.org/