Saving lives with blood

West’s February blood drives proves successful


Tim O'Leary

In 2019, the  Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center collected well over 1000 donations from only six schools. This does not include donations from places such as churches or donations given at one the local buildings. 

Tim O'Leary, Media Editor

On Thursday Feb. 27, the Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center held a blood drive at West. During student’s second block, they could come down and donate blood. These blood drives are held once a term at West, however mobile units are always on the move. 

“We’re a mobile unit, so we’re in a different area basically every day,” phlebotomist Robin Scherrinsky said. “Just yesterday we were at Ashford University in Clinton. We cover from up there to around here.” 

While anyone can sign up to donate, the blood center has to go through a vetting process for each donor to make sure they can donate. 

“We schedule you and do a 55 question questionnaire. From there, they’ll go over and start screening,” Scherrinsky said. “If people pass that they get on the beds over there and then we start drawing.” 

Scherrinsky has been integral to the process for some time now, helping to draw blood for four years at this point. 

“I do this because I like helping people,” Scherrinsky said. “I also have a degree for this type of stuff, so I love doing it.” 

Students have a similar passion for saving lives if the numbers are anything to go by. Donor relations consultant Beth Hancock commented on just how much West and other schools donated. 

“I think for the school year, we get around 300 donations,” Hancock said. “Generally North and Mid City are less, but I’d imagine places like Bettendorf get more.” 

According to Hancock the goal for this particular drive was 75 donations after the success of last term, where over 75 was raised. Hancock credits this to the way employees and students generate excitement for each blood drive. 

“I come in and talk to students during lunch. We have posters, do social media things, stuff like that,” Hancock said. “But the students do a lot by themselves, coming into classes and stuff like that.”

It seems the excitement generated by students was enough to get repeated donors, such as junior Arianna Villa, who made her second donation on Thursday. 

“Honestly, I just like to donate,” Villa said. “Save lives and all that good stuff.”