Determined to remove stigma, Concordia students in the Health Professions Interest Club (HPIC) paired this year’s blood drive with an LGBTQIA+ advocacy campaign. Jacob Reid ’26 and Charlene Geraci ’25 worked to organize the Jan. 26 event.
“As a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, I wanted to make sure that other students on campus didn’t have negative experiences donating blood,” Reid said. “Part of our volunteer training included a section on the history and stigma of HIV/AIDS in blood donation for gay and bisexual men.”
One day after the event, the FDA announced proposals to ease its restrictions.
HPIC’s advocacy campaign was created to bring awareness, resources, and support to community members.
“We reached out to our school organization, PRIDEnetwork, which works to ensure that there is a place for all LGBTQIA+ students and staff on campus,” Reid and Geraci said. “We’re working to ensure that all donors feel safe and comfortable donating on campus.”
This year’s blood drive came as the nation currently faces an emergency blood shortage. As future health professionals, they know how critical it is to build the blood supply.
“We all bleed the same,” Reid and Geraci said. “Getting all the donations we can is important.”
HPIC’s next volunteer event will be packing food for Feed My Starving Children on Feb. 3.
Learn more about student organizations at Concordia.