Campus Blood Drive Sees Nearly 100 Donations

Joliet Junior College students and community members combined this week to donate 96 units of blood to the American Red Cross. 

JJC’s International Club and Student Government sponsored the two-day event, held Feb. 12 and 13 at Main Campus. 

The drive marked the first donation for JJC student Brian Bockellen, who is studying substance abuse counselling and psychology. 

“I try to help when I can - I can’t believe that I haven’t given blood before,” Bockellen said. “But it doesn’t take a lot of time and is something that is very valuable, so I figured ‘why not?’” 

Sandra Bendel is a frequent donor at JJC drives.
Sandra Bendel is a
frequent donor at
JJC drives.
Credit: Scott Harvey

Sandra Bendel graduated from JJC in 2016 with an associate in orthotics and prosthetics technology. The Romeoville resident has donated blood at least six times, returning frequently to campus to participate in drives. 

“If you can save a life it’s worth it,” Bendel said. 

The American Red Cross provides blood for patients in some 2,600 hospitals across the U.S. According to the organization, approximately 36,000 units of red blood cells are needed every day. 

“It’s awesome to see that everyone from the community and here at the school wants to donate. It’s all going to a great cause, so it’s exciting to get everyone to work together,” says Monica Saragossa, a representative at-large for JJC Student Government. 

Sponsoring organizations receive $10 per unit of blood donated from the Red Cross. 

“That’s going to help us with doing events, ordering food, going on field trips and doing more things for the community. All that money will be going right back,” Saragossa said. 

The Office of Student Activities and Holistic Wellness has partnered with the American Red Cross since 2005 to host blood drives on campus. Up to six drives are held each year, which student organizations have the opportunity to sponsor. 

“Overall, it is a great effort for our student leaders and our community,” said Amy Sims, JJC coordinator of Student Activities and Holistic Wellness. “I am very proud to have a strong partnership with the American Red Cross and excited that our opportunities have grown for the JJC community.” 

The JJC Business Club will sponsor the next blood drive on campus, set for Monday, April 9. Schedule your appointment at and then enter 60431 for the zip code. Be sure to bring a photo ID and eat something before you donate.

For more information contact Scott Harvey, communications and media coordinator, at 815-280-2844 or