Be The Match On Campus is a student-run organization whose main mission is to add to the national Be The Match registry as well as fundraise and raise awareness for the cause. Be The Match’s sole purpose is to assist those that have been diagnosed with blood cancers such as leukemia and lymphoma in which their most likely chance for survival is a marrow transplant. The organization assists with patient assistance funds, growing the registry, and funding life-saving research. Every year the Auburn University chapter of Be The Match On Campus holds a drive in October in attempt to grow the registry. This year the registry was held over two days on Oct. 21 and 22.
Last year the registry drive was made into a competition against the University of South Carolina to see which school could register the most people in one day. The two schools would then go to compete on the football field that weekend, giving people an extra motive to join the registry and beat USC. Auburn’s BTM chapter ended up registering 105 people at the end of the drive. While they didn’t beat USC, the drive was a still huge success.
“Last year’s drive was fun because we were constantly checking to see how many people USC had registered and using that to get more people to sign up. I think they especially liked it because we were playing them in football that weekend. The competition aspect made everyone want to join,” said Lexy Sedillo, a junior that is a member of Be The Match On Campus at Auburn. “Even if they only wanted to join initially because of the competition, so many people still learned about the cause and helped grow the registry.”
For the registry drive this year, Auburn’s BTM chapter decided to add a second location on campus in attempts of reaching as many people as possible. Same as the year before, there was one table set up on the Haley Concourse, but a second table was added on the walkway beside the Lowder School of Business. Both tables were registering people from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday.
Abby Slupe, a BTM volunteer for 2 years, said, “I really liked that this year we added a second location and did the drive for two days instead of one. I think we were able to get a lot more people this way than we did last year. I feel like it was a huge success.”
To draw in a crowd, BTM recruited Aubie to pay a visit to the drive. They gave away candy, cups, koozies, stickers and more. They also held a social media contest where anyone who joined the registry could post using the hashtag #swab4sec and be entered into a drawing to win prizes that had been donated by their sponsors Scarlet & Gold, Hyundai of Auburn, Uncle Maddio’s Pizza Joint, Zoe’s Kitchen and Kinnucan’s Specialty Outfitters.
At the end of the two days the Auburn BTMOC chapter felt successful and proud. They ended up getting 118 new people to join the registry. They also raised a great deal of awareness for a cause which so few people know about.
“I heard about the drive from one of my friends who joined last year. When they told me that just filling out papers and swabbing my cheeks could save someone’s life I really wanted to do it. I thought it was a great cause,” said Sid Thompson, a sophomore who joined the registry on Wednesday.
The organization will be having more fundraisers and registry drives in the spring. If you are interested in learning more about Be The Match On Campus visit their website.
Click here to donate to the Auburn University chapter of Be The Match On Campus.
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