Regis College partnered with the American Red Cross to host a two-day blood drive on its shuttered Weston campus as part of the university's ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Held in the Regis gymnasium, more than 100 donors, practicing physical distancing, donated enough units of blood to potentially help 291 people. While the Regis campus has been closed since mid-March, administrators, students, faculty, and staff have continued to carry out the institution's mission of community outreach and service.
“It has been very humbling how many people in the Regis community have asked what they can do to help during this crisis,” said Kelley Tuthill, vice president of marketing and communications. “The need for blood donations has grown significantly during the pandemic and this was one opportunity Regis could do its part.”
The Red Cross took special precautions during the blood drive, including taking staff and donors’ temperatures when they arrived at the gym, asking more extensive screening questions, maintaining physical distance, and sanitizing donation stations regularly.
“Every day, the American Red Cross must collect more than 13,000 blood donations to meet the needs of trauma patients and others with serious medical conditions,” said Lynne Connor, American Red Cross account manager donor recruitment. “Our calendar of scheduled events has been in turmoil since the beginning of this pandemic and we are very grateful that Regis College committed to this blood drive and helped make these two days a complete success.”
Beth Mulvey, of the Regis human resources department, traveled from Grafton, Mass., to donate. She has been a blood donor for many years and many of her family members have been on the receiving end of donations. “Certainly the pandemic brings a sense of urgency as the need is great and people are not sure if it is safe to donate blood,” said Mulvey. “Commuting from Grafton for this worthy cause was no sacrifice and it felt good to help a worthy cause at our beloved Regis.”
Chief of the Regis College Police Department, Craig Davis also wanted to donate because he knew that blood supplies were in short supply and in high demand. “I felt it was something I could do to help someone who may need it. I also know that people may be reluctant to donate due to current circumstances but I wanted to show that the Red Cross has taken every precaution to make donating blood safe for donors and recipients,” said Davis.