Honor Black History Month at the Mobile Blood Drive

Emily Brennan

Managing Editor

Photo via @ricollege.ama on Instagram

RIC Civic Engagement and American Marketing Association are sponsoring the upcoming Black History Month Mobile Blood Drive and “Be the Match” Bone Marrow Registration. The drive is being held on Tuesday, Feb. 22 and Wednesday, Feb. 23 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. in a bloodmobile vehicle at parking lot K, the Student Union loop. The event is in honor of Dr. Charles Drew, a black surgeon who invented the modern blood-banking system in the United States. He then went on to teach an entire new generation of black medical professionals at Howard University. Drew recruited over 100,000 blood donors during World War Two for United States Army and Navy soldiers.


Nonprofit organization, BlackPast.org as part of the Black Education, History and Heritage Alliance (BEHHA) stated Drew “[was] a renowned physician and medical researcher and the first black surgeon examiner of the American Board of Surgery, revolutionized medicine by creating a system that allowed the immediate and safe transfusion of blood plasma.” Drew went on to direct the first American Red Cross Plasma Bank. BEHHA continued, “Ironically, the U.S. armed forces maintained a segregated blood donation system that refused to give blood from non-whites to white soldiers. Drew denounced the policy, stating that there was no scientific evidence of difference based on race and, consequently, resigned his position. More information on Dr. Charles Drew can be found at www.blackpast.org.


“The best part of the February blood drive is that it coincides with Black History Month, honoring Dr. Charles Richard Drew who is known as the "Father of the Blood Bank.” Dr. Drew is an African American surgeon and researcher who organized America's first large-scale blood bank, and his professional contributions and life story are so relevant to our history.” said Kristen Salemi, Director of Student Life. "I've donated more than 5 gallons of blood throughout the years, and it is a small inconvenience and discomfort for BIG results knowing each time I give the gift of [life] for another.”


Donating blood does not only honor Black History month, it also helps save lives as well. “There is an urgent need for donors since the news reports current blood supplies are critically low – and it couldn't be more convenient than to have a blood mobile for two full days right in the Student Union parking lot.” Miranda DiCenzo, the Graduate Assistant for Civic Engagement, told The Anchor.


In order to participate in the blood drive, it’s recommended to schedule an appointment to donate, which can be made at  www.ribc.org/drives using the sponsor code 003.Walk-in’s may give blood if space permits on arrival. Bring a form of ID, commonly a driver's license at the time of your appointment. It is encouraged to eat and hydrate before your visit. All donors at the event will receive a wooden spoon in thanks. Additional questions can be emailed to DiCenzo at sagrad@ric.edu.

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