I started donating blood when I was 17 years old. I started by going to the blood drive hosted by the Central California Blood Center at my high school, Edison. I would see their blood mobiles parked on campus and become curious.  Thankfully, a teacher informed me that I could donate at 17, so I gave it a try and I was hooked. Instead of waiting for the Central California Blood Center to come to my campus I started to go to their facilities, donating as often as I could.

When I first started Fresno State it became a little hard to donate blood because of my schedule and other responsibilities. Then, one day I was walking on campus and saw the blood mobile.  I was surprised and filled with joy that they come to our campus to encourage students, staff, and faculty to donate.FullSizeRender 4

Now as an Ambassador, I get to spread the word that the Richter Center coordinates the blood drives and when the next blood drive is happening. The next blood drive on campus kicks off on Tuesday, November 14th from 4:30-7:30 in the Baker Hall Dorm Rec Room. They will be on campus Wednesday and Thursday, November 15 and 16, from 10AM to 4PM. The bloodmobiles will be by the USU and by the rose garden.

All you have to do to donate blood is be in good general health, weight a minimum of 110 pounds and be at least 17 years old. You also have to bring a photo ID and know your Social Security Number. Before donating you must also make sure to eat a nice meal and drink plenty of fluids. Once you are in the bloodmobile you will answer a few questions, be seated and they will draw your blood. After you have finished you can eat some snacks in the rest area and you are done! It can take between 30-45 minutes depending on the line. Each pint of blood is used to help save three lives!

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Donating blood is such a quick and simple way to give back to others. It is one of the ways that you can literally save someone’s life (actually three!). I plan to donate blood sometime this week at their center but if not I will definitely donate at the November blood drive. I hope to see you by the bloodmobile!

Have you participated in Fresno State’s blood drive before?  What encouragement would you offer someone who was donating for the first time?

Ambassador Francisco