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Washington State University & University of Idaho – KLEW TV News Report (2013)

MOSCOW, ID – This week, the universities on the Palouse have been celebrating Farm Workers Awareness Week by donating blood.

Since 2009, hundreds of colleges across the country have held annual blood drives in honor of civil rights activists Cesar Chavez and Delores Huerta.

“They were the ones speaking up for our farm workers,” said University of Idaho CAMP Assistant Director Jesse Martinez. “So they were the ones who were able to successfully create the United Farm Workers Union.”

Both the University of Idaho and Washington State University held blood drives this week, in conjunction with Farm Workers Awareness Week.

“This is an opportunity for many of us that come from a migrant, seasonal background, an opportunity to raise awareness about issues that are affecting our communities, our living conditions, working conditions,” said Martinez.

“People need the blood, and I’ve always enjoyed giving blood,” said U of I student Joel Medrano.

“It’s something very little, you know, it doesn’t take much from anybody to do, and it’s something that can help so much,” said WSU Student Marco Trejo.

While the students get excited about raising awareness while saving lives, the Inland Northwest Blood Center gets excited about the extra donations.

“Only about 35% of the US population is eligible to donate blood at any time, and only 5% of people do,” said Inland Northwest Blood Center Recruitment Coordinator Sandra King. “So over a quarter of our blood supply in this community comes from high school and college age individuals.”

Both the U of I and WSU saw over 30 donors on the day of their blood drive, and each of those pint-sized donations has the potential to save three lives.

“It’s something very simple, and it can help a lot of people,” said Trejo.

More than 300 universities and colleges hold a Cesar Chavez Blood Drive every year, and the drives at U of I and WSU, as well as at LCSC grow larger every year.

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