Three fraternities hold blood drives for American Red Cross

The chapters scheduled their drives now to donate again for Greek Week.
American Red Cross technician Adam Wehner prepares to draw blood from junior Will Halter during a blood drive at FarmHouse fraternity Thursday. Several Greek chapters are holding drives this week, but will remain eligible for the larger Greek Week blood drive in April.

Three fraternities are hosting blood drives this week in association with the American Red Cross. Delta Upsilon held its drive Tuesday, Farmhouse held one Thursday and Alpha Gamma Rho will hold its Wednesday, Feb. 4 from 2 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. Each drive is held at the fraternity's chapter houses and typically lasts four to six hours.

All MU Greek chapters donate blood at least twice a year, during Homecoming and Greek Week. The Red Cross allows their donors to give blood every 56 days, so the three fraternities donating blood this week chose to schedule their drives early enough to give blood again for the Greek Week blood drive on April 7-8.

"The great thing about the blood drives these fraternities are holding this week is that they're going out of their way just to give blood," Interfraternity Council spokesman Ryan Takeo Morimura said. "They're not getting any points for this or anything, like they would for Greek Week."

Farmhouse and Alpha Gamma Rho have held annual blood drives early in the spring semester for several years, but they do not know how long it has been a tradition.

"Blood is always needed all over the country," Farmhouse President Patrick Corcoran said. "With a house full of healthy young guys, donating blood is just a really easy way to give back to the community in a big way."

The goal for the amount of blood each fraternity donates is based on membership size and how many people the fraternity members think they can recruit to give blood. Delta Upsilon gave 12 units of blood during their drive Tuesday, while the goal for Farmhouse drive was 30 units and for the Alpha Gamma Rho drive is 60 units. Each donor typically gives one pint of blood for Red Cross blood drives.

Rachel Talbott, the Boone County Representative for the American Red Cross, schedules the blood drives on the MU campus. She said the average person donates blood 1.6 times a year and if donors averaged twice a year it would make a huge difference.

"These drives are extremely helpful because our local hospitals are in constant need for blood," Talbott said. "The UM Hospital alone uses 1,600 blood components each month. If all our donors gave blood twice a year on average, we would never have a shortage of blood."

Although most of the people who donate blood for the fraternity blood drives are members, anyone is welcome to donate.

"We actually invite people and usually put up some fliers promoting the drive," Alpha Gamma Rho President Bryant Kagay said. "We usually get several members from the community who come in and give blood along with our fraternity members."

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