Alpha Phi Omega (APO), a co-ed service fraternity at Trinity, will partner with University Health System to host its annual blood drive at Trinity.

APO and University Health System organize the blood drive together each year on campus. “We’ve been doing it since I’ve been a part of APO. We have a partnership with University Health Systems, and we do it because it’s a really easy and simple way to give back without necessarily going out into the community to do community service. One bag of blood can save up to three adults or six infants, so it’s a really great thing that people can do on campus to benefit the community,” said Matt Reynolds, senior urban studies major and president of APO.

The healthcare system that APO partners with is vitally important to patients in the surrounding areas.

“As the premier Level I trauma center for a 22-county area of South Texas, University Hospital is always in need of an adequate blood supply. The University Hospital Blood Bank was established to provide blood needed for our patients and relies on employees, friends, family members, visitors and the community for blood donations,” University Health System said on its webpage.

This year’s blood drive is even more important than in previous years because of the lack of donated blood in storage.

“Blood supplies in San Antonio remain at dangerously low levels and the University Hospital Blood Bank is urging donors of all types to give blood. While blood donors are needed throughout the year, they are most needed during holidays and in the summer. It is during these times that the number of donations declines while the demand continues to increase,” the University Health System said on its blood donor services webpage.

Giving blood is an important way to give back to the community and potentially save lives in the process.

“It’s not a very difficult thing for people to do. I think if you can give blood, then you should because there are so many times when the only thing that can save a person’s life is a blood transfusion, right then, right there, and those aren’t possible without blood donation,” said Aida Kajs, sophomore biology major and conference chair of APO.

The APO blood drive differs from the group’s usual service events in that it happens on campus and is easily accessible to students who want to take part in this event.

“It’s one of the ways we connect most with other students on campus, since what we usually do is community service out and about in the community of San Antonio. This, on the other hand, is something on campus that absolutely serves the community and benefits it, but it’s completely reliant on the student body here. We’re really just advertisement, trying to bring as many people in as possible to donate blood in the two days that they’ll be here,” Reynolds said.

Coordinated with the University System Health, the blood drive benefits the patients and hospitals of the San Antonio area.

“It’s run by the University Health System, so all of the hospitals in the San Antonio area, all of the bleeding patients in the San Antonio area, would benefit from people at Trinity giving blood,” Kajs said.

The blood drive will be held Sept. 22 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Heidi Lounge. Orange juice and cookies will be provided to donors.