Saving lives one campus at a time

Daniel Gann,20, undecided, signs up to donate blood at Saddleback. (Kristine Martinez/Lariat )

Kristine Martinez & Valery Fregoso

Saddleback and Irvine Valley College held their first blood drives of the semester through the Red Cross bloodmobile and University of California Irvine Healthcare on Jan. 29 and 30.

Making it a ritual to visit at least once every three months, the Red Cross bloodmobile is no stranger to the Saddleback campus.

“Someone needs blood all the time,” Red Cross Team Supervisor Carol Jones said. “We love this campus because the students are always willing to donate.”

Students who donated received a free ice cream from Cold Stone, a free appetizer from Mimi’s Café, snacks and refreshments to replenish the iron lost in ones’ body during the donation.

“I always like investing time to help others,” Student Donator Valeria Ibarra, 19, said. “Getting the free snacks is also nice.”

The blood donated at the mobile center is transported to the Pomona manufacturer at Cal Poly’s University campus. After blood is processed, the donations undergo several tests to ensure they are free from harm and diseases. The blood that clears all tests is then stored until it is distributed to a designated location.

Red Cross graciously received 41 healthy units of blood from the 50 Saddleback students who donated.

Meanwhile at Irvine Valley College, the blood drive proceeded just as smoothly.

“College Students are really good at donating blood,” Teresa Bewley, Head of Donor Recruitment at the UC Irvine Healthcare said. “We started off doing blood drives at IVC once a year, but last year we had one for fall, winter, spring, and summer due to the amount of students willing to donate.”

Each student donates one pint of blood and the blood is transported and used for the patients at the UC Irvine Medical Center– the only level one trauma center in Orange County.

“I donate blood most of the time at the UC Irvine Blood Mobile,” Demitri Gomez, 19, IVC theater major said. ” The people there are friendly and it makes it a more comfortable environment to donate blood.”

While students are filling out their form to donate blood, students are also asked if they would like to come to the Donor Center at UC Irvine to donate platelets’, many of who choose to do this as well. Platelets are a part in our blood that helps create blood clots. These are especially needed for cancer patients who are going through chemotherapy.

Many students still come to the University of California Irvine Donor center located on the UCI Campus after they transfer or leave IVC to donate blood during these drives.

“We ended up having 93 donors show up to donate and collected 70 units of blood,” Bewley said, “That is excellent!”

Each donor received a choice between a t-shirt and a certificate for a pint of ice cream at Baskin Robins, ‘A Pint for a Pint.’

Blood donors must wait 56 days to donate, but the Red Cross does plan to return to the Saddleback campus this month. The next blood drive hosted by the UC Irvine Healthcare will be held around April of this year.

If you are at least 17-years old, 110 pounds, in generally good health and have a desire to donate, visit to find a blood drive near you.

If you are interested in donating blood or platelets at the UC Irvine Donor center, visit for more information.

For more information on the next Saddleback Blood Drive, visit:

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