Though our success may seem small, the truth is that a typical blood drive in San Jose usually only collects 10-15 blood donations. Our actual donor turnout was over 200 people, however most did not meet the requirements to donate blood.
Throughout the course of our blood drive it became apparent that the leading cause for disqualification was due to potential donors being underweight. It was disheartening to see the many people turned away for this reason as their desire to donate was so sincere. I also observed a number of people found ineligible for taking medications.
A number of students from I.E.S. PHILS. (Institute for Enterprise Solutions) in San Jose turned out to support our blood drive but were not of age to donate blood. Instead, we took the opportunity to provide the students with information on the urgent need for donating blood in the Philippines. We discussed with them:
- The huge shortage of blood in the Philippines
- 40% of Filipinos do NOT meet the eligibility requirements to donate
- 20% of the Philippines’ blood supply is imported
- Only 4% of eligible donors actually donate blood
- 20% of recipients are children, many with cancer
- Being underweight is a common cause of ineligibility
The Philippine Red Cross was prepared to educate the students while dispelling common myths in the Philippines. Among the myths is the idea you will become sick from donating blood. After a question and answer session the students were equipped with medically proven and accurate information concerning donating blood. Best of all, they were able to witness donors giving blood and realized it is a safe procedure and nothing to fear. They are sure to become future blood donors!
Our first blood drive provided us with valuable information about the community of San Jose and many useful ideas for Alay Foundation’s future blood drives.
Alay Foundation would like to sincerely thank all the people and volunteers who made our first blood drive a success. We look forward to working with you, again, in the future.