Special Issue: Students, Employees Overwhelm Blood Banks

by Tammy Levin and D. Lyn Hunter

20 September 2001 | Many UC Berkeley students, faculty and staff took time last week to donate blood in Oakland and neighboring cities — doing what part they could to help victims of the terrorist attacks thousands of miles away.

At Bay Area blood banks, more than four times the usual number of people went through the centers, said Jeanne Jelke, an employee at Claremont Blood Donation Drop Center.

In Berkeley, several campus-wide blood drives are scheduled for this week. Due to larger than expected crowds, ASUC President Wally Adeyemo said the blood drive his organization is sponsoring will be organized to accommodate the throng of donors.

“A lot of the slots are filling up really quickly, and we just started (sign-ups Wednesday,” said Kevin Jeung, deputy chief of staff at the Office of the President. “I am very confident that the first days are going to be full.”

Also lending a helping hand is the Berkeley City Council. Mayor Shirley Dean said the city and Alta Bates Hospital are coordinating a blood drive for next week, as well.

“We want to keep this up because the amount of blood we need is not going to go away tomorrow,” Dean said.

Kimberly Roberts, a spokesperson for the American Red Cross, said excess blood supplies from the Bay Area will be routed to hospitals in New York and other cities-in-need.

Besides donating blood, students are being directed to organizations such as United Way and the Salvation Army, which are expected to accept donations for victims of Tuesday’s attacks.

ASUC officials will continue to mobilize students to aid off-campus relief groups until they can sponsor additional programs on campus.

“We are trying to organize clothing and food drives to make it a total relief effort,” Adeyemo said.

Meanwhile, University Health Services is offering resources for Berkeley staff, faculty and students trying to cope with Tuesday’s events.

Those in need can access the health center’s Web site — — for information such as common reactions to trauma, when and how to seek help, how to take care of yourself, and how to donate blood, as well as advice for managers.

“Everyone reacts to trauma in a different way,” said Patrick Conlin, manager of CARE Services for faculty and staff. “It’s important that we all try to create a climate that is respectful of these various coping methods.”

Conlin advised people to check the Tang Center Web site frequently, as new information is added.

The health center also created presentations that can be made to large groups, such as academic departments or residential housing units. Conlin said he organized a meeting with departmental personnel managers to provide them with information for supervisors and managers in their units.

“Initially, we’re trying to focus our efforts on distributing information to the widest possible audience,” Conlin said. “As time progresses and people are ready to talk about what has happened, we will refine our efforts to deal with the pain, anger and frustration they may be feeling.”


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