Curtin Volunteers! gives back to community through blood donation drive

Curtin Volunteers! with MRC officers and Miri Blood Bank volunteers.

Miri – 22 March, 2010 – Curtin Volunteers! (CV!), a non-profit student-run voluntary organisation at Curtin University of Technology, Sarawak Malaysia (Curtin Sarawak), gave back to the community by carrying out its bi-annual Blood Donation Drive at the university campus on 18 March 2010.

The highly successful drive attracted over a hundred potential blood donors from the ranks of university students and staff and managed to collect a significant amount of blood to replenish stocks at the Miri Hospital’s blood bank.

The drive was supported by laboratory technologists and medical assistants from the Miri Blood Bank, as well as volunteers from with the Miri chapter of the Malaysian Red Crescent (MRC), while Anak Sains MARA (ANSARA) Miri Division, the association of former Maktab Rendah Sains MARA students, sponsored refreshments for the donors.

According to George Ong, president of Curtin Volunteers!, blood donation drives are conducted each semester as part of CV!’s ongoing outreach initiatives. 15 such blood donation drives have been held at the campus since 2003, all of which have received very good response from the university community.

Potential donors being screened.

The MRC chairman for blood donor recruitment, Dr. Roland Mattu, as well the secretary of its Blood Donor Recruitment sub-committee, Charles Soo, were present to witness the event.

Dr. Mattu said, “One of the objectives of conducting blood donation drives is to instil a sense of responsibility in young adults to be blood donors and help save lives.”

According to Dr. Mattu, the Miri Blood Bank is presently in great need of blood due to the rise of dengue cases in Miri and over 7,000 pints is required in Miri each year.

“The students and staff of Curtin Sarawak are to be thanked for lending a helping hand when it is needed the most. I am extremely pleased to see such a good response from everyone. Normally, we see people queuing at banks or dining places, but at Curtin Sarawak, people queue up to donate blood. This is a really fantastic sight,” he remarked.

Soo, meanwhile, related that Miri currently has some 32,000 registered blood donors compared to just over a hundred back in the 80s.

He hoped more young people will emulate the Curtin Sarawak students and support the blood donation drives held in Miri, as well as get involved in other community service activities.

“Besides looking for blood donors, MRC encourages young people with interest, initiative and commitment to join us and be involved in community service,” he said.

Curtin Volunteers! gives Curtin Sarawak students, staff and the general community opportunities to interact and get to know each other through a range of innovative and ever-changing volunteering programmes. Since its formation in 2002, it has been actively involved in community service, including raising funds for charities such as the Single Mothers’ Association Miri, Palliative Care Association of Miri and Sarawak Children’s Cancer Society.

Students at the university, whatever their skills or experience, are encouraged to get involved in Curtin Volunteers! activities.

“However they decide to get involved, CV! is a great way for students to meet people, get involved in the community and make the most of university life. It is also a great way to build up a set of skills and experiences that will make them much more attractive to potential employers when they graduate,” said president George Ong.

Each year, Curtin Volunteers! runs several exciting events. Its next event will be the annual John Curtin Charity Month Celebration in October, which will see the Curtin Volunteers! visiting several rural communities in Sarawak as part of their annual OutReach Programme.

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