For many college students and university alums, Homecoming is a time to cheer for the home team, sing the fight song and wave the school colors. For students, faculty and alumni at the University of Missouri, it’s also a time to roll up a sleeve and help save lives.
MARKING A MILESTONE This fall marked the 28th Annual Homecoming Blood Drive at Mizzou. As student organizers made plans for the special event with the American Red Cross, they realized that they may be about to mark a major milestone. When totals from the previous 27 years of Homecoming blood drives were added up, more than 95,000 units of blood had been given to help patients in need. Drive organizers knew the event had a chance to bring that total into the six figures – reaching 100,000 units of blood.
“Being involved in one of the largest blood drives in the nation is not just a statistic for this community, it is a declaration that the Mizzou family is among the most generous and selfless in the United States,” said Clark Conlisk, a student at the University of Missouri and a member of the 2013 Homecoming Steering Committee.
“The Red Cross and the hospitals we serve cannot express enough our thanks to the University and the community for their support,” said Scott Caswell, CEO of the Missouri-Illinois Blood Services Region. “We greatly appreciate the efforts of the student volunteers who helped the drive run smoothly, and we value each blood donation we received from our committed donors.”
When the four-day blood drive opened its doors at the university’s Hearnes Center Fieldhouse last week, Tigers fans turned out in droves to help save lives. Student organizers and the Red Cross counted on about 4,400 donors showing up. By the time the last cookie crumbs were polished off in the refreshment area, an astounding 5,730 units of blood were given to help patients in need.
“I could not be more proud of the City of Columbia, the University of Missouri and all others who were involved in this year’s effort,” said Conlisk. “My hat is off to all who contributed to this unprecedented level of success.”
“Thank you to everyone who donated or volunteer at this year’s blood drive,” said Jordan Denker, another member of the Homecoming Steering Committee. “It was an incredible week for Mizzou and the Columbia community. We are extremely proud to be Tigers!”
Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood. Donations made at the Mizzou Homecoming Blood Drive could help many patients in need, including accident victims, cancer patients and those undergoing surgery.
HOW TO GIVE For more information about donating blood, or to make an appointment to donate blood or platelets, please visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). Individuals who are at least 17 years of age (16 with parental consent in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and be in good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.