An Ounce of Blood, a Gift of Caring

In mid-September, freshman Ben Yura '14 and his team stood outside of the cafeteria to ask for donations for the San Bruno Disaster. Ben is from Santa Monica, majoring in Business Management. He knew Al Bannout '11 on the wrestling team at Santa Monica High School as a mentor and drilling partner. Al told the Coach Martinez about Ben, who liked the Menlo campus and business program. Ben chose to attend because he received the most financial aid from Menlo. He enjoyed the campus more than others because of its small size, a nice change from 3,500 at Santa Monica HS, the wrestling team and because the town of Atherton is less urban, with more peace and quiet.

Ben is enrolled in Management 101, taught by Professor Ben Alamar. The class was assigned a project to put together something that created value, either physical, emotional, inspirational, anything that would mean something to someone else. His team also included Alexander Maricic '14, Jennifer Alvarez '13, Carlos Sota '14, and Jackson Dean '14, who all agreed that they wanted to do something that would benefit someone other than themselves, particularly someone in need.

Alex suggested that they might help the fire victims in San Bruno, because of the tragic and destructive explosions that led to a huge fire that that destroyed 44 homes and displaced hundreds of people. “We believed it would be most effective, as well as necessary, to aid the city. We decided to put something together that would not only receive money, but translate into medical aid, hence the added incentive of a blood drive. We would collect money, and every time someone gave a minimum donation of a dollar, we agreed to match each gift with an ounce of our own blood. Overall, we received donations from over 30 people, which meant that we would donate at least 30 ounces of blood.

Ben remarked, “Most people who donated were very pleased to help the people from San Bruno. One faculty member, Frances Turner, commented that she was very proud that Menlo students were doing this. I'm happy we were able to raise money to help the people of San Bruno, and whatever we can give will make a big difference to those individuals that need aid.”

The team is still accepting donations, and if you're interested, please contact Ben Yura, benyura@aol.com or any student in the group.