California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

Cal Lutheran’s Red Cross Club promotes blood drives and volunteerism

Wes Clark
The Red Cross Club hosted a blood drive on Thursday, Sept. 28, with the American Red Cross providing the bloodmobile for the event and offering juice and snacks to blood donors.

The Red Cross Club at California Lutheran University focuses on the fundamental principles of the Red Cross, which include humanity, voluntary service, unity, and universality, according to the club’s constitution

The club was founded by former Cal Lutheran student Tiffany Shaljian in the fall of 2021, during the earlier days of the COVID-19 pandemic. During this time, Shaljian said in an email interview that she reached out to other students who were looking for volunteer opportunities. 

“I wanted to be able to give other students who were struggling like my friends and I the opportunity to dedicate their time and experience to their community, especially during such a difficult time,” Shaljian said. “This is when I realized that the Red Cross would be the right organization to collaborate with.”

Members engage in a wide range of activities that aim make a difference in the lives of those in need, and they are done through the organization of blood drives every semester and by providing volunteer opportunities through the Ventura County Red Cross chapter.    

On Thursday, Sept. 28, the Red Cross Club hosted a blood drive, with the American Red Cross providing the bloodmobile for the event and offering juice and snacks to blood donors.

Shaljian said the first event the club held in fall 2021 was the Sickle Cell Awareness Blood Drive. She said this blood drive was hosted in the month of September for sickle cell patients, and they were able to save 80 lives with the blood donations they received. The blood drive, Shaljian said, consisted of whole blood donations given on behalf of eligible students.

According to the American Red Cross’ website, eligibility to donate blood includes being in good health, at least 16 years of age, and the donor must weigh at least 110 pounds. Additional eligibility requirements, the website said, are based on hemoglobin levels and iron levels in finger prick tests.

“We’re all about connecting pre-med majors and other students with volunteer opportunities through the American Red Cross. So we work with a chapter from the Ventura County Red Cross, and they connect us with other universities in the county to do our fundraising events, Blood drives are pretty much what they want to focus on,” Red Cross Club President and Senior Davis Sharts said. 

Sharts said he works directly with the American Red Cross in Ventura County and coordinates volunteer opportunities on campus. The club, Sharts said, currently has 12 members and is planning a kids toy drive in the spring semester. 

Outreach to encourage students to participate in the blood drive, Sharts said, consists of word of mouth and a series of flyers posted around campus. Sharts said club members also inform students in their classes about upcoming blood drive donation opportunities.

Though some students may be hesitant or fearful about donating blood, the process is quick and not too bad, Sharts said. 

“It’s definitely important to donate. A single donation can save up to three lives and we are in a national blood shortage so it is important that we have people to donate,” Sharts said.  

Junior Ethan Klein said this was his second time donating blood. He said that his first time donating blood was nerve-wracking, but this time he did not have those feelings anymore. Klein said he donates blood to the Red Cross to support a good cause. 

Shaljian said she hopes the club continues to host regular blood drives to help patients in need. 

“I hope they consider collaborating with other clubs on campus,” Shaljian said. “I believe that collaboration can help build the connection in the CLU community by strengthening communication and leadership skills.”

For more information on Cal Lutheran’s Red Cross Club, contact [email protected].

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