By Gary Qi
INDIANAPOLIS — Legislators and government staff joined the Indiana State Capitol Blood Donor Challenge Wednesday.
Legislators rolled up their sleeves for this friendly competition among several state departments, the Senate and the House of Representatives.
Sen. Jim Merritt, R-Indianapolis, donating blood in the Indiana State Capitol Blood Donor Challenge. Photo by Gary Qi, TheStatehouseFile.com
Meg Ahlering, account manager with the American Red Cross, said legislators are “role models” for Hoosiers.
“The community looks up to them, as they, you know, lead our state in positive ways and by taking time out of their very, very busy day to donate blood,” said Meg Ahlering, account manager with the American Red Cross.
Sen. Jim Merritt, R-Indianapolis, said he gives blood two or three times a year, because he sees blood donation as a community duty.
“Raising your sleeve is something, I think, is very important and everybody ought to give blood. And when you give blood, I think it’s kind of a demonstration that you are willing to save lives,” said Merritt.
Ahlering said the goal Wednesday was to collect at least 75 units of blood to help patients in need.
“It’s so important to donate blood, because there is no replacement for blood and only 8 percent of the population donates, which is very small when you think about how much blood is used daily. Five hundred fifty-one donations a day is needed to supply the hospitals here in central Indiana with blood,” said Ahlering.
Wednesday’s event collected 90 units of blood in total, exceeding the goal by 15 units. The leader board showed the Senate team came out on top at the end of the challenge.
“There are a lot of people that are walking around this earth, because other people gave blood,” said Merritt.
Gary Qi is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.
Correction: This story has been updated from its original version to correctly quote Sen. Jim Merritt. The quote should read “There are a lot of people that are walking around this earth, because other people gave blood.” TheStatehouseFile.com regrets the error.