ZBT and SDT host blood drive for American Red Cross
The blood drive saw a 20 percent increase in attendance from last year
February 11, 2013, 10:41 pm·
Aaron Campbell | DP
Twenty-five Penn students helped save 108 lives yesterday.
Zeta Beta Tau and Sigma Delta Tau partnered up to host a blood drive for the American Red Cross that took over the first floor of the ZBT chapter house. According to Wharton sophomore and ZBT philanthropy chair Ben Biran, they were able to get enough blood to save 108 lives under American Red Cross guidelines.
Biran said this year’s event was so successful that the event will probably be expanded in future semesters.
“Next year, they’re probably going to double the size of the blood drive,” Biran said, anticipating that other rooms and even other floors of the house will be used in the future.
Thirty-six students attended the blood drive, which is a 20 percent increase in attendance from last year, according to Biran. While a few students were unable to donate due to factors like iron deficiencies, the donations of the remaining 25 students will all go to Philadelphia-area hospitals.
ZBT has hosted a blood drive every semester for the past four years, and SDT has collaborated with them in the past. Last semester was the only exception, when Hurricane Sandy unexpectedly coincided with the date of the event.
Blood drives seem to be a popular philanthropy event for student organizations.
Engineering junior and ZBT brother Kyle Sarnataro donated blood yesterday and said that blood drives are “all over the place” on Penn’s campus, likely because it’s easy for students to participate and there’s always a need for more donations.
“There’s no shortage of opportunities to help out in that way,” College sophomore and SDT philanthropy co-chair Emma Silverman said.
ZBT’s other philanthropy chair, College sophomore Marcel Garon, agreed that blood drives offer students a simple way to contribute to a great cause. Even the slight inconvenience of the prick of the needle doesn’t detract from the overall experience, he said.
“The little bit of pain really makes it seem like you’re doing a really good deed,” he said.
In terms of hosting the events, Silverman said that blood drives are rather simple to set up and execute since the American Red Cross organizes many of the logistics.
College senior Alex Hoffman said many Greek organizations, including his fraternity Alpha Chi Rho, also host blood drives because members can work in shifts rather than all having to be present at one time.
Sarnataro added that the social connections among members of the Greek community are also particularly helpful in hosting this kind of philanthropy event. “It has a social aspect in that we know enough people so we can get a large amount of people to donate,” he said.
Garon said the blood drive not only attracted students from within SDT and ZBT but also all across campus. He said that people who donate blood once will likely do so again in the future, so the popularity of this particular philanthropy event is a good thing.
“It’s great to be able to tell people that you’re actually saving lives because you really can’t do much better than that,” Garon said.