From Monday 2 March 2021 to Thursday 25 March 2021, the College of Europe Charity Group Solidoares organized a Blood Plasma Donation Month in cooperation with the independent volunteer organization Belgian Red Cross-Flanders. Blood banks worldwide struggle with a dramatic decrease of donation numbers due to the current COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, our Bruges campus Charity Club encouraged students, academic assistants and staff members of the College to become a ColEurope donor. The much needed blood plasma donations took place between 15 and 22 March in the Blood Donation Centre in Bruges. Our students were so kind to take some nice picture at the local donation center. "It all went very smoothly. All we needed to do, was to send the Red Cross the names of the 31 persons who signed up and they arranged the appointments for the donors. We made sure that the students could go there together with people from their own residence in order to have moral support", say Lukas VON BRASCH, Amandine DESWERT, Ana GONZÁLEZ-LAMUÑO RUBIERA and Julia JACOBY, who organised this campaign on behalf of Solidoares.
They continue: "The on-site support was very good. Everyone was very kind and the staff patiently explained all the steps of the donation. The donation itself took around 45 minutes, since plasma donations are more complex than blood donations. But the participants were rewarded with waffles and drinks and vouchers for the public transport."
Solidoares hopes to have taken away the fear for blood/plasma donations and to have encouraged the participants to become a regular donor. They are optimistic to having achieved this goal, since a fellow student said: "It was super easy and fast! Will definitely repeat."
In the same vein, the Red Cross communicated: "I can only encourage all of you to come back (each 2 weeks you are allowed to donate plasma) as often as you want! I can help you with appointments again, but I feel like some students found their way to the donor portal to change their appointment, so now they have been introduced to the matter, I am confident most students will be able to book timeslots themselves whenever they want."
They concluded their feedback with the sentence: "I cannot stress enough how grateful I am for you to help us help." "And so are we", says Julia JACOBY. "Our fellow students have proven a great amount of courage and have once again shown their willingness to step up for something good, as much as one can in these times." The student-run online newspaper La Voix du Collège dedicated an article to this lovely campaign, you can find the contribution HERE.