Throughout the last month, AEPi has been encouraging chapters across the world to host a virtual swab drive in support of Gift of Life. The global pandemic has decimated the number of college students who swab and enter its registry. Thankfully, more than a dozen chapters have signed up to host their own swab drive to help. As one of four AEPi Brothers who are campus ambassadors for Gift of Life, Brother Max Lasday (Central Florida, 2022) knew the Nu Delta chapter would mobilize to do something to help. His chapter’s planning efforts helped raise $1,300 for Gift of Life and swab 26 new people into its registry.
“Being an ambassador really gives me a greater sense as to what impact a large organization like Gift of Life actually has. I’ll never forget attending AEPi’s gala at AIPAC two years ago and watching a Brother meet the woman he matched with and donated to. It was amazing to see, especially since I want to be a doctor. It’s a blessing being able to save someone’s life with a simple swab.”
Swabbing for Gift of Life only takes a few minutes and involves taking cotton swabs and rubbing them against four different corners of the inside of your cheek. Those samples get sent back to Gift of Life, and from there it’s a waiting game. Some people wait years before being contacted that they’re a match. “Swabbing isn’t even the real commitment, it’s just the first step. You can decide at any time that you don’t want to donate. It’s such an easy thing to do, and it’s a mitzvah so why wouldn’t you do it? I can’t ever imagine myself saying no to someone who asked me to take five minutes to save a life.”
Brother Lasday remembers the Gift of Life ambassador position always being taken seriously in his chapter. “We’ve always had someone in the chapter who served as a campus ambassador. When the last ambassador graduated, I remember him passing the information along to other Brothers and then I became one along with three others: Saar Peles, Alex Lampert and Noah Streitfeld.” To him, the relationship between Gift of Life and AEPi is extremely important to the growth of his Brothers. “Gift of Life helps our chapter maintain a connection to the community through service and philanthropy. We want to instill the idea that if you’re in a position where you can give back, you should. Being able to learn lessons like this is what sets us apart from other social organizations. It’s so powerful to have the ability to walk up to someone and ask them to save a life.”
His involvement with Gift of Life is something he takes to heart both on and off campus. “Once, when I was home, I hosted a drive in my hometown for a kid that played lacrosse on my high school team. Knowing that you’re doing all you can to help someone in need is a reward in itself. When you get a group of people together, it’s amazing how one individual can pull together 50 other people to make a difference.”
When it comes to chapters that host a swab event on campus or virtually, Brother Lasday has a few words of advice. “Use your social outlets and involve Greek life. It doesn’t matter who you know; anyone you have a connection with should be on the registry. If anything, educate someone because it’s simple. Involve anyone who’s a part of the student organizations you’re in. Join the college kids that are working hard to swab others and join the registry.”
Chapters to wish to host a virtual swab drive should contact Jonathan Bridge. Alumni and friends looking to add themselves to the registry can do so here. Thank you, Brother Lasday and Nu Delta chapter, for doing your part to save a life.