Residents gave back to their community at a blood drive held by the American Red Cross Los Angeles Region, located at the Santa Clarita Valley Family YMCA, on Friday.
“(I) haven’t given blood in a while and figured it was a good thing to do, and (I’m) due to give blood,” said donor Stacey Hudson.
Held in the YMCA’s multipurpose room, over a few dozen donors either registered ahead of time or walked in to donate their blood.
Guests first looked over a health questionnaire and had their blood pressure taken before their blood was drawn, lasting around 5-10 minutes. Held twice a year at the YMCA, eventual donors call throughout the year asking when it happens, said YMCA membership associate Susan Enriquez.
“So it is something that the community’s aware of and we do like to extend to other locations like churches and things like that and other organizations, to let them know that this is available,” she said.
Another donor, Valerie Bradford, felt that it was a worthwhile experience.
“It’s something I enjoy doing,” Bradford said.
Considering herself as the caring-and-living type, she said you never know when someone else might be in need.
“I know that I’m O negative, so I know that I’m a universal donor, and I found out today that I am CMV negative, which means my blood can go to (a neonatal intensive care unit),” she said. “So I’m excited about that.”
While it might be a squeamish experience for some, Enriquez said there are other volunteering opportunities for people looking to help. Donating or not, people can still feel like they are a part of the process.
“Yeah, it might not be the most comfortable thing,” said Erin Weiss, senior program director at the YMCA. “But you get a sticker that says, ‘I make a difference,’ and you remind yourself that you make a difference. But I mean it’s a pretty quick process. To be honest, you’re not taking too much time, it’s something you can do on a lunch break and feel better about yourself afterwards. And they give you treats, bonus.”
For a list of upcoming blood drives in SCV or surrounding area, go to redcrossblood.org.