Grand Valley State University, Versiti Michigan Blood Center and the Community Service Learning Center organizes blood drives on campus. Two have already taken place, one on Tuesday September 21 and the other the day after the 22.
Versiti is the sole blood supplier to more than 80 Michigan State hospitals. Nearly 600 pints of blood need to be collected in the state of Michigan every day to ensure patients have the blood products they need to stay healthy. One pint of blood can save up to three lives and each component collected in a whole blood donation can go to another patient. Red blood cells can go to trauma patients, platelets can go to cancer patients, and plasma can go to burn patients.
“It only takes about an hour to save three lives,” said Ashley Minor of Versiti Blood. “For the remainder of 2021, Versiti is giving all donors who attempt to donate blood at GVSU a $ 10 electronic gift card as a thank you for rolling up their sleeves and joining our mission.”
So far, they are on track or exceeding their targets for each blood drive. The target for Tuesday was 13 donations. They ended up getting 20 donors and walked away with 17 successful donations. Eight of these donors were first-time donors and together they saved 51 lives in the community. For Wednesday the goal was 22 donors and they ended up having 21 with 17 successful whole blood donations and a double red for a total of 19. Five of those donors were first-time donors and all together, they saved 53 lives in the community.
“The next blood drive dates are October 12, October 21, November 2 and November 16,” said student civic engagement associate at Community Service Learning Center Lily Camp. “All of our blood drives are sponsored by GVSU student organizations, so we also have other blood drives coming up during the winter semester.” Blood donations usually decrease during the winter and the holiday season, so they try to set high goals for the previous months.
“Right now our blood levels are low and we are working diligently to make sure our supply is high enough, especially as winter approaches and the holiday months when donations are dwindling,” a declared Minor.
All hospitals in the Allendale and Grand Rapids area are provided by the Versiti Blood Center in Michigan. Therefore, if a GVSU student needs a transfusion, it is very likely that they will receive a blood donation from a Versiti blood donor.
“Colleges contribute about 30% of the blood supply, so college donors are essential to our mission,” Minor said.
To get involved in campus blood drives, students will need to go through the Community Service Learning Center or the CSLC website: gvsu.edu/service/. All the dates, location and times of the blood drives taking place on campus are available online. There are also options to register to donate blood to Versiti and the American Red Cross. Students from organizations on campus can also partner with Versiti to organize their own blood drive. For more information on this, contact Versiti.