Iowa State Community Committed to Saving Lives Through Blood Donation
It began about ten years ago with a desire to save lives. Now the Iowa State University Blood Drive brings students, businesses and community members together each semester for a multi-day, successful blood drive. The spring semester drive was held on March 7-9 at the Memorial Union. With snacks, giveaways and an Instagram photo wall, students gathered and rolled up their sleeves, collecting a total of 885 units of blood. Approximately one-third of the participants were first-time donors.
"Some people get really excited about donating. Some people are more scared. I feel like a lot of it is how we promote things," said Payton Nierman, one of three Blood Drive Co-Directors. "We do a lot of tabling. We reach out to professors about extra credit opportunities. Any way you can think of talking to a student at the school, we have hit."
The Blood Drive partnered with the American Red Cross to create a new t-shirt and with local businesses for giveaways. After donating, students could spin a wheel to find out the prize they've won. This semester, they also could take a blood drive pint cup. Gannon White, who was staffing the giveaway table, was motivated to join the blood drive after learning about it from his fraternity brothers. "My brother also had Kawasaki disease and needed plasma," said White. "So that is another reason I joined."
The group is already looking ahead and planning for the fall blood drive. "I'm excited to make sure everything goes off with a bang," said Nierman. "There has been a lot of ideas and thinking that, while we can't do this yet, we can prep for it."
"Giving blood is super simple and super fast, but it makes a world of difference for people in need," said Will Beachner, Co-Director of the blood drive when asked what he would say to encourage other students to give blood. The group is thrilled that the blood collected at this drive could potentially save up to 2,655 lives.