Breaking records unit by unit

This year’s blood drive brought in more than 6,000 units of blood.
Sophomore Gunnar Johanson watches as American Red Cross volunteer Susan Leach prepares his arm for blood donation at Hearnes Center during last year's Homecoming blood drive. 5,105 units of blood were collected during the 2012 blood drive. Maneater File Photo

MU held its 28th annual blood drive at Hearnes Center from Oct. 14-17. The blood drive, which is the largest in the country, brought in 6,237 units of blood, including all satellite drives conducted by the Mizzou Alumni Association.

This broke any previous record by at least 1,000 units, said senior Jordan Denker, one of the tri-directors for Homecoming.

Hearnes Center held six pods in which people gave blood, each pod containing 10 beds, said Brigs Clark, a member of the blood committee. Nurses from around the Midwest came in to help with the drive.

“Our Greek organizations are asked to get 100 percent attempted donation, while residence halls and other organizations are asked to get 50 percent attempted donation,” Clark said.

The blood drive also accomplished a historic feat. It had its 100,000th unit of blood donated at the end of the drive. Todd McCubbin, the executive director of the Mizzou Alumni Association and associate vice chancellor of alumni relations, was the honored donator, and after he donated Thursday, a small celebration was conducted.

Denker said that it was an historic moment.

“Not many blood drives make it this far,” Denker said. “We’re just proud to know that the students and faculty at Mizzou are so committed to giving during this Homecoming season.”

Local shuttle services offered rides to Hearnes Center to make the donation process easier for those who wanted to participate. Members of the Columbia community also came and donated.

Alyson Friend, the Mizzou Alumni Association Student Programs coordinator, talked about how the community’s help affected this year’s blood drive.

“We wanted to get our name out and get as many people to come as we could,” Friend said. “And when you look at the math, if one unit of blood saves three lives, then we’ve saved over 18,000 lives this year.”

This year’s blood drive was a reflection of the spirit of this year’s Homecoming, Denker said.

“Giving blood can take a while, and to see all of these students happily wait in line to give up some of their own blood was simply inspiring,” Friend said.

The total number of donors amounted to 5,730 at Hearnes Center and 507 through satellite drives, Denker said.

“Homecoming is about giving back,” Clark said. “So many people made the easy choice of saving three lives by giving blood, and I think that just shows how giving our community here really is.”

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