Greek Week blood drive surpasses goal

The drive collected 1,798 units of blood in three days.
Phi Mu's Halli Bruton (left) and Regan Lee (center) both pose for a photo with the blood drive mascot on Thursday, April 10, 2014, at the MU Student Recreation Complex, in Columbia, Mo.

Greek Week held its 25th annual spring blood drive in the MU Student Recreation Complex from Tuesday, April 8 to Thursday, April 10.

The Greek Week Steering Committee set their goal for this blood drive at 1,700 units of blood.

Julie Pipes, a representative for the American Red Cross, said they were more than capable of accomplishing this goal.

“They’ve done that the last two years, and they wanted to make sure that they made that commitment to Red Cross and to the hospitals around the country,” she said.

At the end of the day on Thursday, Red Cross representatives did a final count of the blood units. The blood drive brought in 1,798 units of blood, meaning over 5,300 lives can be saved, according to a press release by the American Red Cross.

Sophomore Chi Omega member Stephanie Monticelli said she was just glad she didn’t faint after donating blood.

“(I feel) a lot better than last time, because last time I passed out,” she said. “This time, my arm just went dead, so that’s not that bad.”

Monticelli, who has O-type blood, has been donating every 8 weeks for a few years.

Among those helping at the blood drive this year was senior John Scarpinato, Delta Tau Delta member and a Greek Week Royalty finalist. Scarpinato said it was good to see so many students coming out for the drive.

“(Wednesday) was pretty crowded, there was a long line, so it’s nice to see when a lot of people are coming out to help,” he said. “It’s been pretty nice to come and help out, give water where its needed, give out snacks.”

Eight hundred blood products are collected per day in the Missouri-Illinois region, program manager of the Mid-America Division of the American Red Cross, Dan Fox said.

“1,700 pints of blood is a whole lot of blood when you consider that every day here in the Missouri-Illinois region we have to collect about 800 blood products,” he said. “So you can understand that when we have a blood drive that brings in an extra 1,700 over three days, it is a big deal.”

The blood drive is only one of several events Greek Week has in place to give to those in need. Every year, Greek Week gives money to organizations so they can keep running their programs. This year’s beneficiaries include The Angel Band Project, Jumpstart and Ella’s Hope for Autism.

Fox wanted to stress the importance of the blood drive, not only for an event like Greek Week, but for the MU community as a whole. Each unit of blood given at the blood drive is estimated to help save up to three lives, he said.

“Bottom line, what we’re seeing here over these three days is these students, whether they are in a Greek house or not, coming together and helping those in need,” he said. “And that’s very exciting.”

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