Ruby De La Cruz is a sophomore at Trinity Lutheran College in Everett studying Communications and Business.
Ruby had been wanting to organize a blood drive, but with two majors and required courses she wasn’t sure when it might happen. Then she found her motivation. Her Persuasive Messages and Campaigns professor assigned his students a project to put the principles of the coursework into action: run a campaign and craft effective rhetorical messages around it.
It was the perfect opportunity.
I decided this after the Oregon shooting and the [Ride the Ducks] accident in Seattle – our school always prides itself on giving back to the community.
Ruby also has her own connection to blood donation: two years ago, when Ruby was a senior in high school, her mom suddenly began to lose blood.
We didn’t know what was going on – she was really weak, and my mom is never weak.
Her mom spent the night in the hospital, and needed three units of blood to treat unexplained bleeding. Ruby and her sisters started donating their B+ blood as a result.
For her blood drive campaign, Ruby targeted two audiences: people who hadn’t donated before and returning donors. She found that many first-timers were eager to donate but were afraid of needles, so she encouraged them to bring a friend – a blood buddy – and motivated them with facts about blood donation.
One pint of blood can save three lives! People were a lot more open to donating when I let them know why it’s important.
Ruby put up flyers and spread the word over social media, email, and text messages. She used Doodle to sign people up for appointments. The day before the drive, she shared another flyer with information on what to do before (like drink water and eat a hearty meal), after, and during donation.
Trinity’s first blood drive was a success: 53 registered donors, with 42 first-time donors. This is all the more remarkable because Trinity is a very small college, with around 200 students. Regardless of the numbers, Ruby considers it a win because people wanted to help out.
Trinity’s next blood drive is March 15, and Ruby anticipates more donors without competition from finals or fall athletic commitments.
Just do it! It’s not scary at all. Even if you are scared, you’re scared for like 5 minutes, tops. You’re helping someone who really needs it – I’ve seen it save somebody’s life with my mom.
We don’t know how Ruby did in Persuasive Messages and Campaigns but are guessing she aced it!