Severe winter weather has slammed much of the Southeast and East Coast in mid-February causing the cancellation of nearly 1,500 Red Cross blood drives. Nationwide, this resulted in about 50,000 uncollected blood and platelet donations.
On average, the Red Cross must collect about 15,000 units of blood every day for patients at approximately 2,700 hospitals and transfusion centers across the country.
Every year the Greek community at Southeast hosts a blood drive on campus as a part of their many Greek Week festivities. They also do other activities throughout the week such as indulging in community service, participating in Greek games and leading up to performing an elaborate skit.
From February 23-26 Southeast Missouri State University paired up with the American Red Cross to host several blood drives, giving students, faculty, staff and the Cape Girardeau community the opportunity to save lives and keep the blood supply current. Demand and capacity was at 100% the entire week and over 600 units of blood were collected.
“I give once a year,” Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity member John Mossotti said. “I like to give because for one it saves lives and I feel good giving to those who desperately need it. My experience went very well. All of the Red Cross workers were very kind and helpful. Also, for how busy it was they got people in and out in a timely manner.”
With the success of the Southeast blood drives this past week, driven by the urgency and commitment of the Greek community, students, faculty and staff have been promised at least 25% more staffing for next years blood drive and are also considering adding a whole extra day due to overloaded demand.
Some students like John Schmelzer and Macy Heisserer waited up to three hours to donate this past week but stuck it out and never encouraged themselves to head for the door.
“This past experience was easily the best one I’ve had,” Mathis stated. “Heather, the girl who took my blood, was so awesome. For some reason I was so freaked out, even though I have given before, and she calmed me down and make me laugh and made me feel super comfortable.”
Don’t let bad weather get you down. Find a blood drive near you or host one yourself! 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).