Students save up to 2,640 lives at Blood Drive


Robert Dillon

Emily Carreon (junior in journalism and mass communication), Andrew Bosin (junior in mechanical engineering) and Olivia Payne (sophomore in animal science) at the spring 2023 Blood Drive in the Memorial Union. Bosin’s blood donation has the potential to save up to three lives.

Students filled the Memorial Union Great Hall this week to contribute to Iowa State’s biannual Blood Drive, either as donors or volunteers.

Every blood donation can save up to three lives, according to the American Red Cross. With 880 donors, this semester’s Blood Drive has the potential to save 2,640 lives.

Students across campus found multiple ways to contribute to the cause. Some served as volunteers who stood by to calm their classmates as they awaited the poke of the needle or finished their donation. Other volunteers dedicated their time toward acquiring donor sign-ups.

“It’s a good way to give back to the community and make a difference in someone’s life,” said Louie Ervin, a graduate student in business administration. “We do this to raise awareness for people who are not as lucky.”

Ervin stood outside Parks Library earlier this week with two other student volunteers to encourage people to donate blood. Some people were wary of donating at first, but the group of three outside the library was able to help others realize how impactful a donation can be.

“To [some students], needles aren’t great and they are not worth it,” said Faith McKenzie, a senior studying kinesiology and health. “But they feel better knowing they’re helping three people at a time and making an impact.”

The best reward to receive is contributing to someone’s life in a positive way, according to Ervin, but as an extra incentive, the Blood Drive also gave away prizes and rewards to those who donated.

“The feeling of knowing someone will feel better settles [student donors] down,” Ervin said. “But we still offer other prizes such as T-shirts and $10 gift cards.”

Many people at the Blood Drive were donating for the first time while others were coming back for a second or third year. Nathan Guffey, a senior studying mechanical engineering, donated for the second time.

“My high school had a lot of blood drives, so I always felt it was my duty to help donate,” Guffey said. “Being in Iowa State helps continue that drive.”

Brooklyn Husnik, a senior in mechanical engineering, also donated for the second year. Guffey and Husnik returned to the Blood Drive to help bring people together and make a change for the better. They enjoy the public space and meeting new people who believe in the same cause.

“I liked the idea of donating, and after hearing all the impacts, I knew what I was going to do to help,” Husnik said.

The various needles and tubes can be intimidating, but Guffey said it is OK to have a few nerves when preparing to donate.

“It’s OK to be nervous; just don’t let it go over your head,” Guffey said. “Make sure you drink plenty of water and eat foods that have iron in them.”

To learn more about the blood drive, visit the student organization website.