MCCC hosted blood drive tops October’s record

A Red Cross blood drive hosted by MCCC last week received 83 units of donated blood, topping last year’s campus record by 13 units.

Thanks to 73 donors, including several double-blood donors, up to 249 lives can be saved.

Everything went smoothly except for the occasional delay, MCCC Student Government Representative Katey Strube said.

“There was a long wait at different times, but from last year, the Red Cross actually upped the number of beds,” Strube said. “We got six this year, compared to the four last semester.”

For beds and staffing, the Red Cross goes by an estimate of the expected amount of people coming in. This year the goal was 50, which is 10 more than October’s blood drive.

“They have to go on an average of the last three drives,” Strube explained. “Last March we only got 30 donations. This time we had about 30 before noon, so we should have even more beds for the next drive.”

Julie Rhinehart, community outreach specialist for the Red Cross, also commented on the continued success and expectations of the MCCC donations.

“This drive is coming along fantastic,” Rhinehart said. “In March of 2009 only 36 units were collected. Then in October of ‘09, there were 70.”

Annie Marckel, communications manager for the Red Cross, said she felt the involvement of Student Government is to thank for the increase in donors.

“They have just been tremendous in their efforts in recruiting donors for the community college blood drive,” Marckel said.

“Before their involvement, we’d get about 35-40 units of blood, which is a great blood drive and we definitely can’t complain, but since they’ve been involved the drives are seeing between 80-90 units of blood donated. It’s been a great partnership, and we’re hoping that that trend will continue.”

As an extra inducement, there were also two drawings for $25 Meijer gift cards.

“Student government actually pulled it from our own funds,” Katey Strube said. “We voted on it and decided to go through with it for another incentive to get people to come.”

Winners of the gift cards were MCCC students Tracie Trouten and Brian Baylor.

Even though the blood drive was considered successful, Rhinehart reaffirmed how consistent the demand for blood truly is.

“The need is always, always great,” Rhinehart said. “97 percent of the world’s population will have received a blood transfusion by the age of 75, yet only 5 percent of the population actually donates.”

For any needle-phobics, Barton Blossom, a Red Cross staff member working the event, gave a word of reassurance.

“It’s pretty much a painless process. Just a little tiny stick and, like I said, it’ll save up to three lives. So we really appreciate those who come in.”

MCCC student Carly Patel gave blood despite the dislike of sharp objects.

“I’m scared of needles, but I’m not afraid to donate,” Patel said.

For anyone who did not go to the drive, but is still interested in donating, the Red Cross website,, has a complete list of all upcoming events.

MCCC also will host another Red Cross blood drive in March.