By MICHELLE MARKELZ
The annual MU homecoming blood drive began Monday at the Hearnes Center Fieldhouse.
The 25-year tradition is the foundation of a “long-standing partnership” between MU and the American Red Cross. For students, this is an opportunity to give back to their community, Red Cross spokesman Matt Gerke said. For the Red Cross, this event is an opportunity to collect more blood than it would at a typical drive. To put it into perspective, the Red Cross expects to collect about 100 times more blood at this drive. The average drive brings in 30 and 50 pints, and the goal for this event is 4,000, Gerke said.
“It’s going very well,” he said. “We’re off to a good start today.”
Part of that 4,000 pint effort were sorority sisters Sara Robertson and Meghan Dubois.
Robertson, a sophomore, was back for her second attempt at donating. Last year she was deferred because of iron levels in her blood. She said she decided to give for her sorority, but also for a personal reason.
“My uncle died in a drunk driving accident before I was born,” Robertson said. “He would have been saved if they had his blood type.”
Robertson said she was nervous, as she always is before donating.
Veterans, like MU junior Aisshe Palm, turned out for the cause as well. Palm gave blood for her tenth time. She said she comes back every year because she loves to donate.
“I feel better about myself,” she said. “I feel like I helped save three people’s lives.”
The blood drive will receive donors from noon to 9 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday and from noon to 6 p.m. on Thursday.
Anyone can donate, and non-students can take advantage of a fast-track system to avoid the long student lines.