Eastern hosted its fourth and final Red Cross Blood Drive of the year on April 17 in the Betty R. Tipton Room of the Student Center. This drive was dedicated to honor the legacy of labor leader Cesar Estrada Chavez, who fought for better living and working conditions for migrant farm workers in California. He also founded the first successful farm workers union and became president of the United Farm Workers, AFL-CIO. He accomplished this through his philosophy of non-violence.
To help promote the Chavez legacy, three Eastern students, Tanika Dixon, Daasha Mallory and Leah Hershberger, all social work majors, ventured out into the Willimantic community to talk with business owners and school directors in an effort to recruit new Hispanic blood donors, as well as sign them up for the bone marrow registry, which ran concurrently with the blood drive. The students designed flyers to distribute in the schools and community in both English and Spanish.
"144 students, faculty, staff and community members donated and generated an amazing 110 productive pints of blood on one day!" said blood drive organizer Irene Cretella. "The many new donors who came were impressed by how well the drive was run, and how comfortable the staff and volunteers made them feel. We were fortunate to have 32 student volunteers who worked 58 hours helping with donor recruitment, check-ins, and of course, the popular canteen."