Although it took a while to get all of the logistics in place (A&S began to plan for this in February 2011) since it requires appropriate space, a number of workers and the availability of a Community Blood Center collection crew that numbered eight technicians, we did it and we did well! We will let Melanie Somogie, President of UMKC Psi Chi tell you about it as well as express our collective thanks to all who turned out to donate. Here is the thank you message she composed for the students who were there.
“Every day the Community Blood Center (CBC) needs 580* donors to meet the local needs of hospitals. This number seems huge and overwhelming, but on January 23rd the A&S community came together to provide the CBC with 7.5% of that need. This success was because of students like you who were willing to give a little to save the life of a person they don’t know, and will never meet… that’s incredible!
Over 55 students, faculty and staff came to the 5-hour blood drive ready to give the gift of life. That’s 11 potential donors per hour! The turnout was so great that some opted to return for future drives, or donate at the CBC’s location at 4040 Main Street, because the line was so long! We obtained 42 units of blood from those who were able to donate. And we had 29 first-time donors which I hope will translate into regular donors in the future.
It was a fantastic experience to assist in this project and see the outpouring of support from our academic community. I would like to thank everyone who assisted in this project: those who coordinated the event, created promotional materials, posted flyers and table toppers, announced the event to their classes, signed-up potential donors, volunteered to help at the event, and especially those who were able and willing to donate! Every person’s contribution, even if they were unable to donate, made this event a success.
I’m excited to hear of plans to continue and grow these efforts in the future. I encourage all students, student organizations, faculty and staff to consider what role they can play to help in future drives. A relatively small effort gives people in our city, in your neighborhood, a chance at life. Those in need of blood donations are our family members, friends, classmates and co-workers. 1 in 55 Americans need a blood transfusion every year, how many people that you know will likely be that person?”
The College would also like to express its thanks to the faculty and staff who donated; to UMKC Parking Services for its assistance in finding parking for the CBC truck and staff vehicles; to the UMKC Bookstore for donating a $25 gift card as one of the raffle prizes and to the staff of the Student Union for working to make this event go smoothly in their space. We especially want to thank Melanie Somogie and Psi Chi (the International Psychology Honor Society) for their assistance. And last, but not least, we thank Jane Vogl, Assistant to the Dean of the School of Computing and Engineering, who invited us to observe their drive last year, created much of the publicity for this year; managed our donor sign-up site and came early to place signage in strategic places to generate walk-in donors. It was a team effort and we won! (Photos courtesy of Melanie Somogie.)
*Numbers came from the CBC’s website and www.redcrossblood.org