Volunteers and donors share why they participate in the blood drive


The ISU Blood Drive mascot posed in front of the Campanile to promote the 2018 fall blood drive. 

Kendall Sharp

People from all backgrounds come together to support Iowa State’s annual fall blood drive, which took place Monday through Thursday in the Memorial Union’s Great Hall.

Everyone has a different reason for why they donate or volunteer, whether it be for a family member or to help others in the community.

Kathryn Schlake, training specialist for Ag Leader Technology, has donated blood for the American Red Cross twice.

“I think everyone should be willing to donate blood in order to help others,” Schlake said. “I think it’s something simple and selfless that we can do for others. Even if we don’t see the impact, we know that there’s different crises that happen that our blood can be used for.”

Schlake spreads the word of the blood drive to encourage others to donate their blood too.

“It makes me feel better because I know I’m helping people and hopefully it goes for a good use,” Schlake said.

Other’s in the Iowa State community heard about the blood drive through the sorority and fraternities on campus. Many members in the Greek community volunteer with Iowa State Blood Drive and donate to earn points for Homecoming. However, their reasons go far beyond competition.

Kellie Roth, senior in event management, and Madigan Arend, junior in biology, have seen how the blood drive impacts women in their sorority, Kappa Delta.

“A blood drive saved one of our [member’s] moms,” said Roth, donor and volunteer for the blood drive.

Roth and Arend both encouraged younger members in their sorority to donate blood.

“We watched a video in our chapter [about] how there’s a shortage in certain blood types. That is what inspired me to finally give blood,” Arend said.

Many companies throughout Ames sponsor the blood drive, including Stadium View Apartments.

Stadium View Apartment workers, Jessica Metzgar and Taylor Sondrol, are first time volunteers for the blood drive.

“I went to Iowa State and was a part of the Greek Community, so I know that the blood drive is a huge deal,” Sondrol said. “Now I work at Stadium View student housing, and we like to get involved in what the students are passionate about. So, the blood drive and work go hand in hand.”

Sondrol and Metzgar said they are happy Stadium View Apartments sponsored the blood drive this year.

“I think it’s really great that people can come together for such a great cause,” Sondrol said. “There’s one goal and it’s helping other people.”

Charlie Erdman, member of the design committee and junior in industrial design, has been a part of the blood drive for three years. His sister inspired him to participate in the blood drive.

“When she was little, she went through a traumatic experience and that led me to be a little more empathetic and help others,” Erdman said. “I try be a little more caring towards other people’s needs and put them before mine.” 

Donating blood could save three lives, according to Iowa State Blood Drive.

“Knowing the statistics of how many lives we save and seeing how many people donate throughout the week is really awesome,” said Hannah Duckson, blood drive volunteer and junior in biology. “All the work I put in being on the committee for blood drive has really inspired me. I’m definitely going to do it again in the future.”