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The community service which my team and I chose was a “Blood donation camp”. The name of our project was “Be a lifesaver- Just donate blood”. The name of our team was “Life-saving volunteers”. Our team included me, Jack, Daniel, and John. We organized the blood donation camp at the small community hall. I booked the place in advance and took care of setting up beds for blood donors, getting nurses and doctors to start with the process. Jack took care of advertising. He made brochures and posters for the drive and pasted them in market places, our college notice board and handed out pamphlets in the neighbourhood. Also, he promoted the blood donation drive on social media, to catch the attention of masses. On the day of blood donation, Daniel got donors to the donation site, recorded their details and made sure they had adequate fluids and eaten before donating, then asked nurses to take accept their donation. After donors gave blood, John created an honour roll for the donors, thanked everyone and handed out reward certificates.
The blood donation drive was a huge success. We were overwhelmed with the response we got from blood donors for contributing to such a noble community service/social cause. Everyone applauded our efforts for coming up with the drive. Donors came to the donation site in huge numbers, happily donated blood, saving the lives of numerous people out there. When we handed out certificates to them, they felt very happy and encouraged us to come up with more drives for helping the community and contributing to the fulfillment of their needs.
The biggest achievement of the blood donation drive was the huge number of participants/donors who came for it. A total of 150 donors came for the drive and donated blood happily. The blood so donated was later given to the blood bank. Also, we received a Red Cross Certificate of merit from a leading blood donation organization in appreciation of our commendable services for promotion of a social cause as big as blood donation. We were able to raise awareness among the masses that individuals can save the lives of people by donating some amount of blood and improve the health of others. Values of voluntarily donating blood irrespective of compensation were portrayed by the people.
According to Edorium journals, (2013), blood is the most important element of human life, which does not have any substitute. Blood transfusion made through blood donated by donors has become the reason behind saving the lives of millions globally. WHO states that blood donation requirement is 16 million units annually for south Asian region but only 9.4 million units of blood are received leaving 6 million units which are still required, this is why voluntary blood donations have become the need of the hour. Voluntary donors are non-remunerated blood donors who selflessly donate blood for the good of the society. Organizing of such events is highly appreciated by many medical and reputed organizations as these help in the collection of the blood of different blood groups which can be used in emergencies to save the lives of others. This is the reason why our blood donation camp proved to be very helpful for the community at large. Values of empathy, selflessness and catering to the society were the pillars which held our team together to deliver these services to the community effectively and efficiently.
However, we also faced certain problems during the drive. Maintaining donor and staff safety during the blood donation drive and encouraging people to donate blood in the times of COVID-19 were the reasons for difficulty in conducting the blood donation camp.
The blood donation camp went well, however, we faced certain roadblocks during the drive. One of them was maintaining donor and staff safety. We tried to brainstorm ideas which could be used to serve the purpose. Then we searched for information on how to handle such a situation. Luckily, we found a journal which put forth the recommendations for safety and security of donors and staff to be used in such a case. Those recommendations helped us overcome the problem at hand and ensure the smooth flow of the blood donation camp.
According to Arcot et al. (2020), sanitization of hands of donors before entering the community hall for blood donation, easy availability of masks for donors and nurses, the appropriate spacing of donor from others to ensure social distancing in the times of COVID-19, disinfecting the area before the organization of event must be done to ensure safety and security of both donors and nurses. Also, all the donors who gave blood must be contacted within 14 days of their blood donation to know, if any of them has symptoms of Coronavirus, and inform the blood blank to which the blood has been donated in advance before it can be used in emergencies to save lives of those in need. Following these directions, we sanitized the whole place before the drive, arranged gloves, masks and other stuff to ensure safety and security from coronavirus and other infections maintained a defined gap between beds of different donors and arranged for proper social distancing norms. Also, we sanitized the hands of all doctors, nurses and donors from time to time before and after the tests and blood donation. Due to these steps, we assured the people of their safety and were able to attract them to donate blood (Arcot et al. 2020).
The purpose of organizing a blood donation camp, that is, to motivate people to donate blood and help contribute their bit to save the lives of those in danger was served. We faced problems in our way to conduct this community service initiative, but due to our never-give-up spirit and teamwork, we were able to make this drive a big success.
We learnt a lot from this experience. We decided to keep on organizing such events where we can encourage the people to help in providing services to the society selflessly and as a part of their duty towards their community. We plan to continue conducting such events and will come up with more of such drives like plantation and cleaning drives in future as a part of community service.
Arcot, P.J., Kumar, K., Mukhopadhyay, T. and Subramanian, A. 2020. Potential challenges faced by blood bank services during COVID-19 pandemic and their mitigative measures. Transfusion and Apheresis Science. P. 102877.
Edorium Journals. 2013. A guide to organizing a voluntary blood donation camp. Retrieved from http://www.ijbti.com/
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