Campus News

"What Can I Do To Help?": Bowdoin Volunteer Opportunities, September 11, 2001

Story posted September 12, 2001

Tuesday's catastrophic tragedies in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania have led all of us in the Bowdoin community to ask, "What can I do to help?"

One of the most tangible things is to donate blood. Thousands of people in Southern Maine are lining up, and often gladly waiting up to eight hours to make these life-saving donations. Lydia Bell, Coordinator of Student Community Service Programs, reports she has been in contact with the Mid Coast Chapter of the American Red Cross, and would like to pass on the following important information about giving blood.

The Mid Coast Chapter has requested that members of the Bowdoin community refrain from giving blood right away, and to instead wait for the regularly scheduled Bowdoin blood drive being held on campus Wednesday, September 19.

Why? Blood is perishable (it has a 42 hour shelf life). Victims of this tragedy will need blood in the coming weeks, and we can play a crucial role in keeping the supply steady. According to Rachel Gruszka, one of the student coordinators of the blood drive, it will both aid victims of these tragedies, as well as help replenish the highly depleted supply.

Therefore, mark Wednesday, September 19 on your calendar for the Bowdoin blood drive. It will be held in Morrell Gym, from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m.

To donate blood:

The sign-up sheets in Smith Union have been removed due to the high volume of donors. You may still plan to be a walk-in donor at the Bowdoin blood drive, or come to find out about other blood drives being held in the area.

Read the restrictions surrounding blood donation. You must weigh at least 110 pounds, and be in good health. Certain travel history restrictions may also apply, but the Red Cross has recently suspended a rule that might keep those who have spent three months or more in the British Isles or six months or more in other European countries from donating.

If you cannot give blood September 19, there are many other ways to get involved. Student volunteers are needed to help orchestrate next week's drive. Volunteers are also needed to return phone calls for the Red Cross to inform community members about local blood drives.

Lydia has also been in touch with the United Way, and other volunteer opportunities will be arising.

For more information how you can help, contact Lydia at or 721-5641. Information will also be sent to students, faculty and staff through the various campus digests.

You can also contact the student coordinators of the Bowdoin blood drive: Rachel Gruszka (bgruszka), Meredith Hoar (mhoar), Kate Leach (kleach), or Cathy Showalter (cshowalt).

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