Winter weather freezes donations

This January’s harsh storms prevented over 22,000 expected pints of blood from being collected due to travel disruptions but UVM students respond enthusiastically, Red Cross Burlington Headquarter Account Executive Chris Frenette said. Reaching a 10-year record low for January, the extensive snow lost the American Red Cross about 16,400 blood and platelet donations over the past few weeks, Frenette said. However, Red Cross employees said UVM students were eager to help. “I was hesitant at first, I didn’t think one less donation would matter,” first year Shoshana Hitchcock said, “But I kept telling myself that someone out there got to live and all I had to do was sit for 10 minutes.” The blood drive on Jan. 19 exceeded their goal by one pint, Frenette said. “Philanthropy among students is so strong,” she said. “It’s amazing to watch.” However, the demand is still high, and although all blood types are needed, there is a pressing urgency for people with negative blood types, according to the Red Cross website. “One donation is actually helping more than one patient,” Headquarters spokesperson Carol Dembeck said. The next on-campus blood drive is on Feb. 23 in the Patrick Gym, Frenette said. Supporting businesses are doing all they can to promote donations from students by providing all you can eat pizza and buy one get one free coupons to local restaurants, she added. However, Frenette said students do not need to wait until an opportunity comes to UVM to save a life. Donors are encouraged to visit the local Red Cross building at 32 North Prospect St., which accepts donations seven days a week, she said.