Puerto Rico - 4th International Blood Drive Marathon
During October, the Global Embassy of Activists for Peace (GEAP), in coordination with the Servicios Mutuos Blood Bank of Puerto Rico, carried out the 4th International Blood Drive Marathon, “Life is in the Blood” in various cities of Puerto Rico. On October 4th and October 25th, habitual and voluntary blood donors, and Activists for Peace, who supported this event, gathered at the GEAP headquarters in Cayey, Puerto Rico.
A very important part of this event was the distribution of educational materials to the general public. A large percent of the population is unaware of the importance and positive impact that donating blood has, and for this reason pamphlets and flyers were handed out weeks before the marathon took place.
On the very same day of the 4th Blood Drive, voluntary activists were still handing out educational materials, which has become the most important technique to attract new blood donors. Jose Rivera, a volunteer that hands out educational materials of these International Blood Drives, said: “I'm in the promotional group, that's my job. We promote the activity that is taking place in the town of Cayey. We go to different traffic lights that are close to the Embassy headquarters and then we announce that we are having a blood drive. It is an opportunity for each individual to become a hero, because donating blood can save up 4 lives. Our interest is that the majority of people in Cayey know when a blood drive is taking place.”
The Head Nurse of the Servicios Mutuos Blood Bank was astonished with the group effort and organization the voluntary Activists for Peace had to realize this blood drive. “This has been a very well organized and planned blood drive, with great communication. We have had the voluntary participation of activists for peace, who have helped maintain a constant, successful flow of donors, so that at the end of the activity we have the units, the goal we had set out to collect.”
More than 300 people gathered at the GEAP headquaters to voluntarily donate blood. This was a great achievement, a great accomplishment because it demonstrates that people are becoming more aware of the importance of a voluntary and habitual culture of blood donation. “I understand that it is something very important. As a human being we don’t have much to give, but blood is vital. To be able to contribute to that is very important for me”, were the words of Karol I. Chang Melendez, a voluntary blood donor.
Cidra, Ponce and Vega Baja were among the other cities in Puerto Rico where the 4th Blood Drive Marathon took place. At the end of October, Puerto Rico had a total of 693 registered donors and a total of 531 effective blood units.