One Blood’s relationship with West Campus surpasses Big Red Bus


Ty Wright / Valencia Voice

Maria Mendez (left) is an avid blood donor, and says that she would donate blood “every day” if she could.

Every Monday, a large red bus, labeled ‘The Big Red Bus’ sits outside the SSB parking lot on West Campus at Valencia. There, it sits waiting for students to enter and donate the one life thing that can save so many lives; blood. Throughout the week, another office sits open to allow students to donate blood, plasma, and platelets. This room is in the HSB just behind the student café and coffee shop.

Why should students donate blood?

“People should donate blood because they are literally giving another person a second chance to live,” said Oneblood representative Pat Michaels.  “1-in-3 people will need a blood transfusion at some point in their lives. Blood that is donated today will likely be transfused into a patient within two to three days. The turnaround is that fast, the need is constant. There is no substitute for blood – it can only come from volunteer donors. Only 39% of the population is eligible to donate blood — but only 5 to 10 percent of people actually give.”

What are the benefits of donating blood?

According to Michaels, “The main benefit to donating blood is that you are helping save someone’s life.  Every two seconds someone needs a blood transfusion. Cancer patients, premature babies, trauma patients, transplant patients and people suffering from anemia and sickle cell disease just to name a few — all are examples of patients who depend on blood donors to survive.”

Another benefit of donating blood is that you also receive a free health screening when you donate.  Your blood pressure, cholesterol levels, pule, and iron count are all checked.  All of this is tracked and kept on record each time you donate.


Where can I donate?

The blood center at Valencia collects whole blood.  This means that they collect the entire component.  On the Big Red Bus, they collect whole blood as well as plasma.  Just at Valencia, last year, the blood center collected 2500 units.  The most important of these units collected is O negative, known as the universal donor. This type can be given to anyone and is most important for trauma and cancer patients, as well as premature babies.

The blood center is open in the HSB on West Campus Monday through Thursday 9 am to 5 pm and Friday 9am to 1pm. The Big Red Bus is on West Campus on Mondays from 9 am to 2 pm.  You can make appointments in advance via

For information about donating blood, plasma and platelets make sure to check out the “Target Your Type” program at

So, when you pass by the Big Red Bus, stop by, donate, save a life or three.

(Taken from April 9, 2014 issue)