DAYTON, Ohio – It took a village of more than 600 blood donors, plus an army of volunteers, to complete another amazing year of helping save lives at the University of Dayton. The RecPlex hosted UD’s eighth and final blood drive of the school year Tuesday, April 12 with many students making one last donation before heading home in May.
Tuesday’s blood drive had 81 donors and 64 donations to reach 110 percent of goal. UD ended the year with eight blood drives, 603 donors, 253 first-time donors, and 465 donations.
The blood drive year was a tale of two semesters. The four fall blood drives had 272 registrations to donate and 211 units collected, but averaged 88 percent of the collection goal. Participation grew during the four spring semester blood drives with 331 donors and 254 donations for more than 103 percent of goal.
The success story at UD always includes the many academic fraternities and service organization members that help recruit donors and volunteer at the blood drives. Tuesday’s blood drive had volunteer support from the Beta Beta Beta National Biological Honor Society, the Alpha Phi Omega national service fraternity, and the Flyer Enterprises student-run business organization.
“We have our chapter meetings to talk about upcoming events,” said Alpha Phi Omega’s Melody Shearron as she volunteered in the Donor Café. She pointed to her laptop screen and said, “They can go to our website for the calendar of the events to sign up to volunteer and they can register to donate at the blood drive.”
Technology is a great help, but fellow Alpha Phi Omega volunteer Delaney Bak said the most effective way to recruit donors is to get personal. “Word of mouth,” she said. “One on one is still the best way to really get people to sign up.”
Renee Brown, an Alpha Phi Omega member from Lexington, Kentucky, made her third lifetime donation Tuesday. “We love doing service,” she said.
“I donated in high school but this is my first time at UD,” said Abby Owens, a freshman from Pittsburgh. “I’ve tried to come, but always had something that conflicted. But I heard about this and said, why not today!”
It’s a busy time on campus as summer draws near. Classes end April 29, exams end May 6 and graduation is May 8.
Randy Brackman, a mechanical engineering major from Coldwater, made his 7th lifetime donation and grabbed a cookie at the Donor Café before hurrying to class. The next few weeks will be busy, he said, then it will be “heading home to Coldwater to work this summer.”
It was the same for Becca Kaiser, a Beta Beta Beta member from New Bremen who plans a career in health care. Her summer job is at a pharmacy back home. “The last couple of summer it’s been as a technician,” she said, “so it’s a really good job.”
Instead of going home to Cincinnati, Beta Beta Beta member Emily Wey will stay at UD doing a summer research internship in genetics. She wants to be a doctor, and has volunteered at the blood drives. Encourage by her brother’s example, she made her first blood donation Tuesday. “I wanted to,” she said. “I did the food table last time, so this time I wanted to donate.”