Over winter break, Loyola students were given the opportunity to participate in the Leaders Save Lives program in association with the American Red Cross.
The Red Cross partnered with Loyola to give students the opportunity to bring blood drives to their own communities instead of hosting it at school. Any willing organization can host a blood drive if they have the required amount of space.
Director of Student Activities Chris Walter said, “This is the program the American Red Cross has had in the past. We’ve never utilized it or did anything with it because we always do our own blood drives at the school.”
Junior Xavier Singh noted, “I believe donating blood is a very useful way to help and better society. The Leader Save Lives program does a very good job of incentivizing blood donation because it’s a great way to be noticed by colleges and earn rewards, while also helping others in the midst of this pandemic.”
Senior Guarav Law stated, “I really think this can make an impact in the community. While we as the Loyola community haven’t had chances to help out a lot during COVID-19, this can really help out other communities in need.”
Students who would like to create their own sponsored blood drive must find a location with enough space, a bathroom and accessibility by ramp or elevator. Once the proper requirements are fulfilled, students can reach out to family, friends, or even other students to make an appointment to have their blood drawn.
Students have utilized their community’s churches, malls and community centers to host these blood drives. The students maintain social distancing protocols and sanitize each station after blood has been donated.
Junior Matthew McHugh said, “I got involved with the program because it offers a safe way for me to help my community. Because blood is in high demand currently, I thought this was the perfect program to do my share in helping those affected by COVID-19.”
Not only can students bring a much-needed commodity to health care workers, but they can also earn rewards for the amount of blood they collect. According to the Red Cross, the first four people who collect over twenty-five pints can be entered into a raffle and potentially earn a scholarship of $1,000.