Blood drive fuels Boston Strong spirit at Brandeis

The first Boston Strong Memorial Blood Drive kicked off yesterday in Sherman Hall

Photo/Mike Lovett

Students donate blood at the Boston Strong Memorial Blood Drive

Last year, when Rachel Weissman ’15 and the Brandeis blood drive team scheduled the annual drive for April 16, 2013, they had no idea it would be their biggest turnout ever. Then on April 15, two bombs tore through the crowd at the Boston Marathon finish line and all that changed. Brandeis students rallied around the tragedy, filing into Upper Sherman to donate, one after the other. 

But, as important as it was to donate last year, it is even more important to donate today, says Weissman, a blood drive coordinator. 

“We need blood now more than ever,” Weissman says. 

There is always a surge in donations in the immediate wake of tragedy but eventually donations taper off and a shortage hits the blood supply, Weissman says. The shortage impacts everyone who needs blood, including victims of the tragedy who may need follow-up surgeries. 

“Just because there’s nothing in the news, doesn’t mean we can’t be Boston Strong,” Weissman says. 

This year’s drive, renamed the Boston Strong Memorial Blood Drive, is raising money for local charities including One Fund Boston and the Boston-based Who Says I Can’t Foundation, which works with amputees. There is a raffle offering prizes such as a signed Red Sox photograph, vintage Brandeis athletic jerseys, free sessions with student trainers and much more. 

But the real prize is the feeling that comes with donating. 

“Donating blood is one of the most tangible and effective ways to help someone in a vulnerable position,” says Chelsea Polaniecki ’16, who was waiting in line to donate.

Eliezer Buechler ’16 agreed. 

“I’m donating because it can always be you on the other end,” he says. 

The Boston Strong Memorial Blood Drive is running April 8 – 10 at Upper Sherman Function Hall from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. Visit the event’s Facebook page to learn more. 

Categories: Student Life

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