Once a semester, the American Red Cross teams up with Auburn University to put on a biannual blood drive held in the Student Center ballroom.
Clara Barton founded the American Red Cross in 1881 to provide emergency care for victims of war. In addition to helping men and women in the military and their families, it has expanded to also serve victims of natural disasters, help the needy, give international relief and development programs, process and distribute blood and offers programs promoting health and safety.
The American Red Cross is a non-profit organization that relies on donations of money, time and most importantly, blood.
Courtney Kyzar, Auburn’s new director of blood drives, organized this semester’s blood drive. With the help of Red Cross representative Ivy Pittman, she collected 257 pints of blood from student and faculty donors.
“I loved working with the Red Cross, and Auburn is blessed to have a wonderful Red Cross representative to work with. Ivy was so helpful and did a great job of providing everything we needed,” Kyzar says.
In order to draw in donors, Kyzar offered free food and the chance to participate in a raffle to all donors. Food contributions came from local restaurants such as Niffers and Panera. However, the most appealing recompense was the chance to win a free iPod shuffle or two Delta Air Lines tickets.
Past blood drives have also showed a movie in order to make the donation process a more relaxing experience.
Though, Kyzar and Pittman wouldn’t have been able to do it all without the help of a team of about 30 volunteers.
In order to help, students can sign up in advance or just show up on the days of the event. Volunteers generally sign in donors and pass out food and beverages.
The American Red Cross is in constant need of blood donations in order to keep up with the demand of blood across the nation. One person’s donation of one pint of blood has the potential to save up to three lives.
So, it is time to get over that fear of needles and come donate during next semester’s blood drive. Passionate supporters of the American Red Cross, like Kyzar, appreciate all of the donations and help they can get.
“It was a great experience. I learned so much about the Red Cross and the blood donation process as a whole. I have a greater understanding of the huge need for blood that the Red Cross has and I can't wait until the next one!” says Kyzar.