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Montclair Students Help Promote the Gift of Life

by Andres Servello

Montclair State University’s Techniques in Communication (CMST 582) students partnered with the American Red Cross to help promote the Parsippany blood drive. The drive, in response to the ever-present demand for blood, was held at the Hilton Hotel in Parsippany on Nov. 27.

The students formed a Public Relations (PR) team, which was responsible for providing a press kit for the American Red Cross. Derek Dalonges, Autumn Brunson and Tihesha Jackson-Aaron are senior graduate students in the Public and Organizational Relations program and members of the PR team.

“Working with Red Cross allowed my team and I to utilize our skills and work together for a great cause,” Dalonges said.

The Hilton Hotel in Parsippany hosted the blood drive on Nov. 27. Derek Dalonges | The Montclarion

The press kit included social media coverage and videos of the event, earning media attention. The team utilized tools such as Campaign Monitor to send pitches to over 90 media outlets. The drive was a resounding success, with a total of 32 pints of blood donated, equating to a total of 66 lives saved.

“Everybody here, everybody walking in today is going to save at least three lives, maybe more depending on the kind of donation they give,” Helen Jacobson, a Red Cross volunteer, said.

Jacobson is a semi-retired nurse who enjoys working at blood drives whenever she can and volunteers for the Red Cross disaster team.

Donors demonstrated a spirit of giving that is so renowned during the holiday season. Cousins Hailey and Danielle Ker stopped by to donate blood and to share their thoughts on donation.

“I think it’s always nice to give back, especially this time of year, [and] I think this is one big way of giving back,” Danielle Ker said.

“Working with The Red Cross definitely proved that CMST 582 has provided me with the foundation and skills to develop as a PR professional,” Brunson said.

Montclair State students who are considering donating blood should visit the local Red Cross homepage, where finding a blood drive is as simple as entering in your zip code.

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