Blood donations decrease during the holiday season

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BYU hosts several blood drives every month except December. The only blood drive on campus this month was on Dec. 3 and 4. (Photo by Maddi D)
BYU hosts several blood drives every month except December. The only blood drive on campus this month was on Dec. 3 and 4. (Photo by Maddi Dayton)

The end of the year, with holiday activities galore, brings a lull in blood donations with no lull in need for donations in hospitals.

“It’s the holiday season, and people’s holiday making gets in the way of their good intentions,” said American Red Cross spokesman John Petersen.

Petersen said weather and sickness are some other factors in low blood drive attendance during the holiday months. Red Cross holds just as many blood drives in November and December as it does during the rest of the year, Petersen said.

One reason blood donation rates fall so much around the holidays is because students have finals and go home for Christmas Break.

“About 20 percent of the blood we collect is from high school and college students,” Petersen said.

BYU has a blood drive in the Wilkinson Center almost every week. However, according to the Y-Serve website, there will only be two blood drives in December, both in the first week.

Petersen said students can still give blood, even with their busy end-of-semester schedules, by making appointments at donor centers. Donor center locations can be found at redcrossblood.org.

Many students do not donate blood because they donate plasma for money. Jeremiah Stewart, a recent BYU graduate, and Josiah Stewart, his brother and a BYU–Idaho student, donate plasma regularly to get a little extra spending money.

“It’s an easy way to make money and helps people at the same time, so why not?” Jeremiah Stewart said.

Jeremiah Stewart uses the money he gets to pay for date night every week. Josiah Stewart uses the money mostly for dates and groceries. The brothers both said the biggest reason they donate plasma is because they get money for it.

The Stewart brothers consistently donate plasma through the holiday season. Josiah Stewart said he actually donates more during the holidays because he has more time.

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