K-State partners with American Red Cross, holds blood drive

Tyus Heinrich, freshman in psychology, donates blood during the K-State Blood Drive in the K Ballroom of the K-State Student Union on March 28, 2016. (Miranda Snyder | The Collegian)

Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood for a transfusion, according to Kristi Ingalls, American Red Cross account manager.

In an effort to help supply blood for those in need, the American Red Cross is holding a blood drive at K-State Monday-Thursday in the ballrooms at the K-State Student Union. With the help of campus groups like Pre-Med Club, Pre-Vet Club, Pre-Nursing Club and greek organizations, the Red Cross will work toward achieving its goal of obtaining about 650 pints of blood this week, Ingalls said.

“We work with quite a few organizations on campus to make sure that we have lots of people available to not only help us recruit donors, but to help spread the word about what’s going on and also to volunteer at the drive,” Ingalls said. “About 20 percent of donors come from high school and college-age students, so we really appreciate the partnership that we have with Kansas State University.”

K-State blood drives are the some of the largest blood drives the Red Cross holds in Kansas, according to Jan Hale, American Red Cross communications director.

“It is by far the largest blood drive that we have with any university across the state as well,” Hale said. “So it’s an important blood drive for the Red Cross, and right now, every pint (of blood) that comes in is important, so we would urge students to make an appointment or drop by one of the drives this week and help us make sure there’s blood on the shelves available for patients in need.”

Nicole Haug, freshman in life sciences, said she has donated blood 10 or 11 times and hopes to continue donating as often as she can.

“I like doing it because it makes me feel good about myself and giving back to people, which I really like to do,” Haug said. “I have blood, and I might as well donate it to people.”

Student participation in blood drives is crucial because there is a real need for blood donations in the Manhattan community, Haug said.

“(It’s important because) they don’t realize how often people need blood transfusions,” Haug said. “I’ve heard a few stories from people in my local community who have really needed blood transfusions and there wasn’t enough blood, and it really impacted them.”

Haug said she encourages those who have not donated blood to do so because giving blood can leave donors feeling like they have done something good for the community, and typically, a token of appreciation is presented to those who donate at K-State blood drives.

“It’s nerve-wracking the first time, but it really doesn’t hurt that much, and you’re going to have a really good feeling afterward,” Haug said. “There are perks, like every time you come and donate here at K-State, usually you get a free appetizer at Texas Roadhouse, so it’s not just you giving blood. You do get something back from it, plus that good feeling.”

The Red Cross asks that students participate in the blood drive to help the organization save lives, Hale said.

“The only way that that need can be filled is by generous donors rolling up their sleeves and coming to donate and giving the gift of life,” Hale said. “I think the most important thing to remember is that someone on the other end of what you’re doing is in the crisis of a lifetime, and we never know when that person is going to be someone you know.”

Hey there! I'm Danielle Cook. I'm currently a freshman in journalism and mass communications. I live for telling true stories, so I hope to be doing it for the rest of my life. Luckily, I also live for late nights and early mornings – as long as there's coffee and I'm in good company.