above: Blood Drive Coordinator and Chapter Cocial Action Chair Thomas Perry join Chapter Basileus Jeff Birthright and Terry Williams in holding up the special tshirts Red Cross created for the Omega Blood Drive. below, from left: Brothers look on as another Brother donates the gift of life. Roger and Val Wells look on as Stanley White (Beta Sigma Chapter 72 / OPPF) donates blood. d. l. white

By D. L. White

The brotherhood of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., Phi Iota and Xi Nu Nu, rolled up their sleeves recently to host a quarterly Dr. CharlesR.DrewBloodDriveatthe Cesar Chavez Library and Commu- nity Center, located at 37th Avenue and Baseline Road.

The accumulative total of units donated benefit hundreds of individuals across the state in need of whole blood and or many of the derivatives from a unit of blood. Blood is always needed, and more so during the summer as blood supplies often run low according to Red Cross representatives.

The quarterly drive is held in honor of Bro. Dr. Charles R Drew, a member of the Fraternity, who is credited with being the father of blood banks and who is known for having discovered the process to preserve whole blood and its many derivatives, including blood plasma, during 1930s.

Dr. Drew was hired by the British to set up blood banks throughout Europe during World War II (1941- 43). This, in turn, saved hundreds if not thousands of lives.

Dr. Drew, became disenchanted with the British when he discovered they were segregating blood by race. He clearly and succinctly demonstrated blood is not distinguished by ethnicity but by “blood-type” (AB + or -, or O-), which can be given to either blood type.

Dr. Drew returned to the US and taught and continued his research until a fatal car accident in North Carolina on a icy road in 1950.

All Americans and people of nations around the world owe a great deal to Dr. Drew and his lifesaving work. Another “critical race” achievement not theory but facts.

The quarterly drives held in conjunction with the Red Cross are at various venues across the greater Phoenix metropolitan area.

“I want to thank the brotherhood and everyone else for coming out and donating today. Blood of all types is always appreciated and needed and especially during the summer,” noted Thomas Perry, the chapters’ social action chair and blood drive coordinator.

“I’m especially grateful to the Brothers from Xi Nu Nu for supporting this effort,” Perry shared, as the chapter Basileus (presidents) of XNN and Phi Iota, Terry Williams and Jeff Birthright, looked on.

“It’s been a good start to the day and weekend,” said Birthright, noting hours earlier both chapters took part in Service Saturday by Project Humanities Homeless Outreach.

“Service is what we (Omegas) do and why I became an Omega,” Williams said. “I saw early how Omega’s contributed to the community when I was growing up. I always knew I would one day become an Omega.”

Visit redcrossblood.org/give.html for how to donate and locate a blood drive near you. Or call 800-RED- CROSS (800-733-2767).

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