The Mosher Alumni House played host to a blood drive put on by the Alumni Association earlier today. Photo courtesy of

The Mosher Alumni House played host to a blood drive put on by the Alumni Association earlier today. Photo courtesy of

The Alumni Association hosted a blood drive today that was open to faculty, students, staff and local residents at the Mosher Alumni House.

As one of the campus’ largest blood drives, all benefits go to the Santa Barbara Chapter of United Blood Services, a non-profit that provides blood, blood components and special services to patients in more than 500 hospitals. Since its first blood drive in Oct. 2011, the Alumni Association has drawn over 638 participants to donate blood.

Alumni Association spokesperson Rocio Torres said the drive is one of many events hosted at Mosher Alumni House geared toward bridging the campus with the community.

“One of our goals at the Alumni Association is provide service opportunities for alumni and students,” Torres said.

Third-year geohydrology major Kaitlyn Smith said she has donated blood over 10 times since she has been to college.

“It’s a great way to help people,” Smith said, “because if I needed blood, I would like it to be available.”

The United Blood Services Regional Donor Recruitment Director for the Santa Barbara area Scott Edward said the amount of discomfort individuals experience when donating blood is a minor cost in comparison to its potential benefits.

“The process itself is very straightforward,” Edward said. “That moment of discomfort is so small that it’s easy to put it out of your mind.”

According to Edward, the blood from the drive will be given to local hospitals, as Santa Barbara is not big enough to supply blood to other areas.

“We have weekly demands so consistency is key to maintaining the blood supply,” Edward said. “During the winter holiday season and summertime, donations can easy decrease, so we launch special campaigns to raise awareness and encourage donations.”

Donor recruiter and blood drive scheduler Maricela Carpinteyro said maintaining a sufficient supply is not easy.

“With the needs of the hospitals, we usually need about 130 pints of blood everyday to meet the hospital’s needs,” Carpinteyro said. “It’s a challenge especially since not everybody could give to everybody.”

According to Edward, students should spend the time to give blood because it can have far-reaching positive effects for others.

“You can save a lot of lives,” Edward said.