The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Saturday September 18th

Relief Effort Requires Blood Donors

Casey Copp, director of blood services for the Orange County Red Cross, said members of the University community can provide a much-needed boost to blood supplies in Washington, D.C., and New York. "The National Red Cross is mobilizing 80,000 units to New York and Washington," Copp said.

One unit is equal to one pint.

The Red Cross will be holding blood drives today at the UNC School of Medicine and Thursday in the Great Hall of the Student Union. Today's drive will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the third floor of Berryhill Hall, and Thursday's will be from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

In addition to blood donors, many students already have volunteered to help the Red Cross, and more are encouraged to give their time. Volunteers primarily are needed to man phones for the agency.

Alyson Snavely, the Emergency Services Coordinator for the Orange County Red Cross, said student volunteers will be a huge asset to the group.

"(They will work with) training and fund raising in order to support those people that are getting deployed," she said.

Snavely hosted a training session Tuesday for disaster response volunteers who might be deployed to New York or Washington. Participants in the session already boasted some previous training in emergency response.

No students are slated to work with the organization in either city because of the time commitment and the prior training required.

Student Body President Justin Young said the Red Cross provides an opportunity to reach out to victims.

"We need to help them help other people," Young said. "It's one of those things that puts it all in perspective -- the scope of what's happened."

Adam Clark, a senior English major, said he felt compelled to give his services. "I just wanted to do something to help out," he said. "I can't give blood, so this is something that I can do."

Joelle Ruben, a sophomore journalism and international studies major, agreed that volunteering with the Red Cross was something students could do to reach out. "I'm hoping to be able to come out at some off times," she said. "I sort of want to wait and see when people are most needed."

Young expressed hope that the tragedy will motivate students to become more proactive in dealing with the crisis. "We're just hoping to do everything we can to get people involved," he said.

Snavely said she is pleased with the aid of the students and hopes that the blood drive will be of great assistance.

"With larger drives we try to shoot for about 80 to 100 pints (of blood)," Snavely said. "Supporting those blood drives is going to be an untold asset. ... We're so low (on blood)."

The City Editor can be reached at citydesk@unc.edu.

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