Annual Blood Drive taking place this week


Max Goldberg/Iowa State Daily

A student donates their blood during the ISU Spring Blood Drive, March 6 in the Memorial Union. The drive, partnered with the American Red Cross, Life Serve and the Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center, aim to help save countless lives via blood donation.

Grace Ekema

The Iowa State University Blood Drive will be taking place this week starting today until Thursday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Great Hall of the Memorial Union. The importance of donating blood is high because of the devastation of recent natural disasters.

To some, donating blood is not something to value, but to others, it means saving a life. 

“I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the selfless people back in 1996,” said Connor Recker, junior in construction engineering and co-director of the blood drive.

Recker was saved by a blood donation in his early childhood, and wants students to know the importance of blood donation and why they should take time out of their day to give.

Areas that were affected by hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria will be receiving the blood donated by the students here on campus. 

“Every little bit helps. Anyone who is willing to come donate, it’ll get sent to people who need it, whether it’s Texas or anywhere else,” Recker said. 

Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria also tore through the Atlantic Ocean to create a large amount of damage not only to the U.S. and Puerto Rico, but also to surrounding countries and islands.

The American Red Cross concluded that in the month of September, all blood types are in need of being donated. O positive and O negative blood types are usually the most commonly needed blood type because of their abilities to give to a larger amount of people.

LifeServe also is stressing the importance of donating blood now because of the disasters. The center is encouraging individuals to donate to help those in the impacted areas and to add on to the already amazing amount they have donated which is more than 150 blood products. 

Recker hopes that with all of the devastation in the last few months, more students will be willing to donate.

“As terrible as it all is, it’ll hopefully get students wanting to give blood because they see how much it’s actually needed for areas that get hit with stuff like that,” Recker said. 

Recker states that two of the blood centers will be from the Red Cross as well as two other centers. 

“We have four blood centers coming. Mississippi Valley, LifeServe, Red Cross – Omaha and Red Cross – Waterloo.” said Recker. “If students have a preference on who they want to donate to, we’ll send them that way.”  

The ISU Blood Drive is the second largest student run blood drive in the nation. The event is planned to give students the opportunity to make time even with busy schedules for one day in the week. The volunteers running the event also have a goal they would like to meet by the end of the week.

“Our goal is to get 2,000 donations, which is seven more than we received last year, and to hopefully grow a little bit,” Recker said. 

The Blood Drive is also supplying treats like cookies from Insomnia and a variety of juices to those who donate. There will also be raffles for various prizes like coupons to different restaurants. The Greek Community can also receive points towards community service by donating blood this week on campus. 

Since there are certain requirements to donate, visit The Red Cross’s Eligibility Requirements page to make sure you qualify to donate and can prepare. If this week is not the right time for you to donate, the spring donation week will be the week before spring break in 2018. 

“There’s no substitute for blood,” Recker said. “You’re literally giving the gift of life to someone who needs it.”