Some came alone, some in pairs and others in groups of three or more. Students and staff at The Otomotif College (TOC) streamed in throughout the day to ‘pay it forward’ at a recent blood donation drive organised by the college’s human resource department.
TOC Chief Operating Officer (COO) Thin Lee Chean said that the blood donation drive was an annual tradition by the college to come together and do something meaningful for society.
“It is encouraging to see a growing number of our staff and students walk in voluntarily to do their part and give the most precious gift ever to those in need. We even had a post-childbirth staff who insisted on donating but was advised by the Blood Bank staff to rest,” he said.
Students Darshan Ragunathan and Ikhwan Zulkifli were totally relaxed throughout the few minutes needed to fill up the bags with their precious blood.
“I have donated many times before and always feel that these programmes should be held more often,” said the engine-loving Ikhwan, 21, who chose TOC as it was the only college with its own Motorsports team.
Aspiring automotive lecturer, Darshan, 23, concurred and said, ”This is the second time I have donated in three years.”
Diploma in Motorsport Technology student, Gary Lee, 27, is also a frequent donor as his O-type blood is the most often requested by hospitals.
“I feel good helping others and would certainly encourage others to do so,” said the business degree holder who bravely decided to go back to school to pursue his childhood passion for cars after finding out that the corporate world was not for him.
Petite Shiryn Choong, the personal assistant to the TOC chief executive officer, was happy to do something meaningful with the rest of her colleagues and students.
“Donating blood is good for your body. For those who have never done so, don’t be afraid of the needle as it felt like an ant bite,” she said.
There were many who wanted to give but were turned down.
New Diploma in Motorsport Technology student Milton Huang, 21, was crest-fallen at not being able to donate due to a medical condition but gamely stayed behind to lend support to the rest.
TOC Training Director Allan Cabiles also turned up and had his blood tested but was rejected due to his frequent travel overseas for work.
According to Dr Jaiy Nandani of the National Blood Bank who supervised the event, there was always a perennial shortage of blood supply.
“The level was really critical last month and we are glad to be able to replenish the stocks through efforts by corporates and institutions like TOC. I would like to encourage all Malaysians to donate as it saves lives. Remember, you might need it one day,” she said.