Bradley squares off against ISU in annual blood drive

Last year, students donated more than 350 pints of blood, and the Red Cross is expecting a similar outcome this year.

Students are able to donate blood at the Markin Center from Jan. 28 to 30 as part of the Challenge on 74, an annual American Red Cross competition between Bradley University and Illinois State University. In order to win the challenge, either university must collect the higher percentage of their initial goal.

The winner of the competition was determined on Jan. 31 and received “bragging rights” for the year, according to Corey.

“With winter storms and freezing temperatures resulting in more than 400 Red Cross blood drive cancellations and nearly twelve thousand uncollected donations since the beginning of January, students and faculty are strongly encouraged to donate,” Red Cross Communications Program Manager Ben Corey said.

According to Corey, there is a large demand for type O blood, especially type O-negative because it is universal and can be given to any patient; however, all donors are useful.

“Eligible donors with all blood types are needed now to help restock our shelves,” he said.

The competition is part of the “We Challenge U” program that the Red Cross designed to reach out to college students to contribute during the winter months when blood donations are low.

“Right now, blood products are being distributed to hospitals as quickly as they are coming in,” Corey said.

All students who donate on campus will receive a “We Challenge U” t-shirt, while supplies last.

“Students who give blood will leave with the knowledge that their donation is helping make a difference in the lives of patients in need,” Corey said.

Bradley University Red Cross Club, Bradley Athletics and Alpha Phi Omega sponsored the blood drives on Jan. 28, Jan. 29 and Jan. 30, respectively.

The American Red Cross encourages students to make appointments to donate by calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visiting redcrossblood.org, but walk-ins are welcome.