By Connor Keating / Staff Writer

Time to mark Friday on your calendars, because between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m., Hutchinson Community College will be hosting a blood drive in the Parker Student Union rec room.

“Blood is always important, and we know that because of the work we do,” said Chantel Cherney, an associate degree nursing instructor. “We teach our students how to give blood transfusions and all the reasons someone might need one.”

Cherney said there were many reasons why they may need donated blood.

“There’s a lot of illnesses and people who require blood, so you’ll see blood transfusions a lot in places like the neonatal ICU, itty bitty babies that are born early, and they just need that extra boost,” Cherney said. “We will see it a lot in cancer patients where they’re requiring blood transfusions, and almost everybody knows somebody that’s been touched by cancer. We also see blood transfusions in big trauma accidents so anyone of us could accidentally get hit by a car or need a massive transfusion. That’s something that’s really life saving for those people.”

Like most things in the United States today, blood has been affected by COVID.

“We are in an extreme shortage right now,” Cherney said. “Which it seems like we’re always in a shortage, but I think COVID really impacted that, cause people were having to social distance and people were scared to get out and about. It’s great that people are being vaccinated so that they can be more comfortable being out in front of people.”

Things are starting to look up, and they hope to recover from COVID, but in order to do so, they need people willing to donate, people like you.

 “If we can get the word out, and just let people know that their donations are needed, and that they can benefit a lot of people,” Cherney said. “That’s kind of what we want to do, so partnering with the Red Cross is something that we do every year, and we want people to know that drives like this matter, they make a difference in our community, and if they can take the time and come out and see what it’s about it’s a lot less scary than someone, who has never donated, might think.”

In order to participate, volunteers are asked to sign up by visiting redcrossblood.org, and then using the code – HutchCC, in order to get everyone scheduled.

“I don’t want anyone to be turned away,” Cherney said. “So if they can go online and look at the schedule, and just find out what’s open and what fits best in their schedule. Then we can make sure that they have a really great first experience if it’s their first experience and we’re able to facilitate a donation.”

$10 Amazon gift cards will be available to those who donate.

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