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Southeast holds Blood Drive for Greek Week
Southeast will host a blood drive at the Student Recreation Center March 28-31 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
The Blood Drive was put together by Southeast Greek fraternities and sororities for the annual Greek Week competition, where they have several events aimed at helping the community. Each organization is paired with a nonprofit to help with their needs. One event they sponsor is a blood drive in collaboration with SEMO’s Red Cross Club. The fraternities and sororities on campus provide volunteers for the blood drive.
“The blood drive is another way to help our community because every unit of blood is helping save about three lives,” said Southeast senior and president of SEMO’s Red Cross Club Kate Appleman. “By each person donating, they help more people than they could in a lot of ways. It’s just a really fulfilling way to help people.”
“We had a student here recently who was in an accident a few months ago, and he needed over 55 units of blood, and if we think about it, if we didn’t have blood from the donations to the Red Cross, then he might not be here today,” Appleman said.
Appleman said this upcoming blood drive can compensate for the thousands of units of blood they lost due to the recent snowstorm in Cape Girardeau.
According to Southern Missouri-Arkansas district manager and Southeast alum Jennifer Freeze, the American Red Cross and the Greek organizations have an ambitious goal for the blood drive. If they meet this goal, it would make it one of the largest blood drives held not only in the Southeast region, which includes Missouri and Arkansas, but in the entire country.
“So our goal is to get at least 1,200 appointments or more,” said Appleman. “This year, Mizzou is having a drive, and their goal is 800 units. If we surpass that and get the amount we’re looking for, then we will have the largest blood drive in Missouri for this year.”
Freeze said people should seek out opportunities to contribute to the Blood Drive.
“I know the SEMO Red Cross Club is very active,” she said. “If you are a student on campus, we definitely encourage people to seek out joining the Red Cross club and gaining some valuable volunteer opportunities with them.”
Because there can be a shortage of certain blood types, Freeze said donating blood is very important.
Freeze said that all blood types are needed, but especially the O negative blood type, being that it is the universal blood type and anyone can receive it. She also encouraged all individuals of diverse backgrounds to come out and donate.
According to Freeze, the COVID-19 pandemic impacted blood drives in both positive and negative ways.
Freeze said that about two week’s into last year’s Greek Week blood drive, when many places started to shut down, they had to cancel the blood drive due to the pandemic.
Freeze said the Red Cross had to find other organizations this year after having a lot of schools cancel their blood drives.
Freeze said the Red Cross was able to find other organizations, community groups, and churches that allowed them to come to their facilities to hold blood drives.
She said the Red Cross was fortunate to have blood drives on campus at SEMO and in the Cape Girardeau community. She said it had been a challenge to find alternate locations for blood drives. She said 20% of the nation’s blood supply comes from blood drives held on high schools and colleges.
Freeze said there was one way in which the pandemic affected blood drives in a positive way. Beginning in June, if a person donated blood, they would test the blood and inform people if they had COVID-19, helping the Red Cross to collect pints of blood from individuals.
There are three requirements for people to donate blood: a donor must weigh at least 110 pounds, be in overall good health and be feeling well at the time they're considering donating blood. The donation process takes approximately 45 minutes to an hour, with the donation being the shortest part.
The Red Cross will be at the University Center Wednesday, March 24 from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. For more information or to sign up to donate, visit redcross.org.