Bleeding purple: K-State blood drive falls 150 pints short of 600 pint goal

Students and community members have their arms poked for the KSU Blood Drive at the K-State Student Union. The American Red Cross blood drive was held March 12-15 in the Union and Putnam Hall. (Gabriela Faraone | Collegian Media Group)

Student groups partnered with the American Red Cross this week in hopes of holding the state’s largest blood drive. Unfortunately, the drive only collected 450 donations, 150 pints short of its 600 pint goal.

On Monday, the first day of the blood drive, donators filed into the Kansas State Student Union Ballroom. Students, professors and administrators alike waited for their turn to part with a pint of their blood.

By the end of Tuesday, the blood drive collected 226 pints of blood. Donations slowed down on Wednesday, with only 80 pints collected. Thursday brought in 144 donations, bringing the total to 450 pints.

Last fall, the blood drive collected 497 donations.

Kristi Ingalls, Red Cross account manager, works with students and organizations on college campuses to coordinate blood drives. The Red Cross comes to K-State for one week in the spring and fall.

“Kansas State is our largest collegiate drive in the state,” Ingalls said. “We want to grow that and keep building on it and encourage more people to step up and donate blood.”

According to the American Red Cross, someone in the U.S. needs blood every two seconds, and more than 36,000 units of red blood cells are needed every day in the country. A single donation has the potential to save up to three lives. With a goal of 600 pints, the blood drive had the potential of touching many lives.

“600 pints times three potential lives per pint, that is 1,800 lives,” Ingalls said. “It is a huge impact for us. Twenty to 25 percent of our blood products come from high school and college-aged students. It is important to get them involved now to carry it on through their lives.”

Although the blood drive did not reach it’s goal, the 450 donations it collected have the potential to make a change in the health of 1,350 people.

Some students donated as part of their Greek house’s community service efforts. Ashley MacDonald, freshman in anthropology, said approximately 30 members of her sorority volunteered to help the work the blood drive.

Nathan Anderson, junior in economics and president of Delta Chi fraternity, said volunteers managed the check-in desk and escorted donors to the snack station after donating. A few members took turns donning the Buddy the blood drop suit to parade around campus and raise awareness of the blood drive.

Some volunteers also gave blood, such as Easton Bolinger, sophomore in computer science. When asked why he donated, Bolinger said, “You just should.”

For others, donating blood is a long-running tradition.

“My dad does it, so I always have done it,” Chance Lee, assistant professor of leadership, said. “Every eight weeks.”