Annual spring blood drive to continue with new safety precautions

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The Red Cross returns to the K-State campus March 22-25 for its annual spring blood drive in the K-State Student Union Ballroom and the Tallgrass Ballroom in Kramer Dining Center. (Archive Photo | Collegian Media Group)

The Red Cross returns to the Kansas State campus March 22-25 for its annual spring blood drive in the K-State Student Union Ballroom and the Tallgrass Ballroom in Kramer Dining Center.

Jan Hale, Red Cross external communications director, said the past year has taught her people can help and hold each other up during difficult times.

“Even though the last year has been a challenging rollercoaster, we are very grateful that blood donation has remained an essential community activity throughout the pandemic,” Hale said.

Hale said additional safety precautions and other things have changed in the past year, but the need for blood donations has not stopped.

Donors are required to schedule an appointment in advance on the Red Cross Website. Scheduling an appointment before donating helps the Red Cross comply with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention regulations.

Donation centers continue to comply with safety standards — including temperature checks, proper social-distancing and face coverings.

The Red Cross is a non-profit organization that supplies nearly 40 percent of the nation’s blood supply.

Kristi Ingalls, Red Cross Account Manager, said the partnership with K-State has been incredible.

“I love working with K-State, getting new students involved and enjoy all the student volunteer groups that make the blood drive happen,” Ingalls said.

In addition to the typical Red Cross procedures, Ingalls said the organization also offers COVID-19 antibody test results.

“A student can see their antibody test results within one to two weeks in the Red Cross Blood Donor App or donor portal at RedCrossBlood.org,” Ingalls said.

Ingalls said campus groups like the American Red Cross Club, KSU Vet-Med Club, Pre-Vet Club, Delta Chi, Phi Alpha, Pre-Physical Therapy Club and others play an integral part in supplying 450 pints of blood during the drive.

Ingalls said over 90 percent of Red Cross workers are volunteers.

“It is incredible that numerous K-State campus groups choose to give back to their community in such a special way,” Ingalls said. “Each year, we work with many excellent campus groups that help recruit donors and volunteer at the drive-by signing in donors, giving out refreshments and promoting the blood drive across campus.”

Shaelyn Ward, senior in nutrition and kinesiology and American Red Cross Club president, said the Red Cross is an organization everyone should consider joining.

“As the American Red Cross Club, we do our best to volunteer for and promote the organization,” Ward said. “We volunteer for both university and community blood drives, look for American Red Cross donations and promote local blood drives through the use of social media.”

Students and community members who donate will receive free T-shirts while supplies last.

Students and community members can sign up at the Red Cross website, call 1-800-733-2767 or download the Blood Donor App.

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