Organizations unite for Blood Brothers blood drive

First-time donors contributed 16 of 60 collected units.
Collection Technician Nancy Cubias collects blood from junior James Unverferth on Friday at the Blood Brothers Drive in Memorial Union's Stotler Lounge. The Brothers were hoping to receive between 30 and 40 donations.

The beginning of each year is a down time for American Red Cross blood donations, so some of MU's male organizations decided to help collect donations during this time of need.

The Mizzou Black Men's Initiative, five National Pan-Hellenic Council fraternities, the Interfraternity Council and Alpha Omega Theta Christian Fraternity Inc. collaborated to host the third Blood Brothers blood drive 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday in Stotler Lounge in Memorial Union.

MBMI coordinator Marcus Mayes said the partnership between the Blood Brothers drive and the American Red Cross has been great.

"The staff has been great, fun, enthusiastic, willing to go an extra 30 minutes just to get a few extra people who've been waiting," Mayes said.

NPHC and Alpha Omega Theta have collaborated with MBMI since the first drive last January, but Friday marked IFC's first time participating.

Mayes said MBMI hoped IFC would accept its invitation to participate because Blood Brothers does not conflict with the other blood drives in which IFC participates.

"It really falls right smack-dab in between your two biggest drives on campus, Homecoming and Greek Week, so anybody who comes here to donate has enough time to still donate at Greek Week," Mayes said.

IFC marketed the drive at its recent meetings, at the Greek Leadership Retreat, to Panhellenic Association chapter presidents and in council-wide emails. IFC spokesman Jon Strope said he acknowledges IFC's collaboration with other organizations can help make a larger impact.

"(We) represent 28 chapters and have such a large population, and I especially think us bringing a huge population to things like this really helps make a difference," he said.

Mayes said through interacting with donors, he could see the results of advertising through the Greek Life system.

"That's great the word has definitely been spread, and people are responding," Mayes said. "The collaboration definitely helps."

Volunteer Julian Davis from Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. said he thought the collaboration has made a great impact.

"It's a chance for us all to come together and work on something that's just greater and bigger than us," he said. "And you get to interact with people from other organizations, and I think that's a great thing."

Mayes said though past blood drives have been open to everyone, the organizations pushed minority donations, and they continued to promote diversity in its donors this year.

"We've always had majority minorities, which is great, but we understand the need to still push diversity and to get as many people out, no matter what their background is, to donate, because a pint of blood is a pint of blood, and at the end of the day, it's saving lives," Mayes said.

The two previous Blood Brothers drives collected between 45 and 50 units of blood each. Mayes said he hoped to collect at least 75 units of blood Friday. Each person donates one unit, and each unit saves up to three lives, according to the American Red Cross.

Sixty of the 71 students who signed up were able to donate, and 16 of those 60 were first-time donors.

"It's always exciting to get first-time donors," Mayes said. "All the nerves, all the jitters and things of that nature."

Freshman Lauren Cuthill has donated blood before, but she said Friday was her first time donating through Blood Brothers, and she thought the donation process went smoothly. She said she gives blood because it is an easy way to help others.

"(Your body) replenishes it, so it's not really a loss to you, and it takes so little time," she said.

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