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‘CALM BEFORE THE STORM’ AT MIAMI’S FIRST BLOOD DRIVE OF SEMESTER

February 2, 2022

OXFORD, Ohio - It was the calm before the storm on the first day of February as Miami University hosted its first Oxford campus blood drive of the winter and spring semester.

Student strolled into the Armstrong Student Center on a day sunny and mile enough for t-shirts or shorts.  Yet the forecast warned of snow and ice in the days ahead, weather that might disrupt multiple blood drives across the Community Blood Center region.

Miami answered the threat by boosting supply with the biggest blood drive of the day. It topped 114% of collection goal with 96 donors, including 78 donations and 24 first-time donors.

"Having six blood drives this semester is going to help us recover from the holidays and get us ready for summer," said Nicole Thruston, CBC's new account manager for all blood drive at Miami and in Butler, Warren and Clinton Counties. I'm really excited to work with the college, continue our partnership and find ways to grow the drive."

Miami's six fall blood drives totaled 649 donors, a 33% increase over the fall of 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic constricted the blood drive schedule.

Miami is CBC's longest-standing blood drive partner, dating back to the first Greek Week Blood Drive in 1978.  Up until the pandemic, it was CBC's largest blood drive sponsor.

 "Community Blood Center is extremely grateful to Miami University for continuing to partner with us for life-saving blood drives on campus," said CBC account manager Sandy Baur. The fall blood drives topped 114% of goal with 516 units donated and 373 first-time donors.

"I'm just hanging out and going to class," said freshmen Kelsey Roach from Beavercreek, who started donating at Chaminade Julienne High School and made her 4th lifetime donation Tuesday.

"I wanted to make sure I stay on my lifetime donation goal," said Kelsey. "I'm trying to get to 20 donations by the time I'm 30, which is think is very doable. I'm able-bodied and willing to do it. It's being able to help some people."

Chris Cepolski is a sophomore from the Chicago area who made his first donation with CBC. "I wanted to do a good thing," said Chris. "My plan is to go to medical school. Why not donate if I have the time?"

Freshman Destinee Henderson is a psychology major from Glenn Allen, Virginia who made her first lifetime donation. "I'd never done it before," she said. "I know there is a need for the blood drive, and I wanted to learn my blood type."

Freshman nursing student Sarah Holshouser started donating at her high school in Charlotte, North Carolina. She was excited to know about Miami University's proud history as CBC's first college campus blood drive.

"I'm really passionate about blood drives," said Sarah. "My grandfather was a 20-gallon donor. I even sponsored a blood drive at my house for my International Baccalaureate capstone service project in high school. They sent two busses, my friends signed up and we had 51 people donate! It was really great."

Multiple Miami U. service fraternities and clubs support blood drives with volunteers and help with recruiting donors.  Sponsors groups for the Feb. 1 blood drive included Miami U. Benefits and Wellness, National Residence Hall Honory, Theta Tau, the Equestrian Team and the Mallory Wilson Center.

Sarah has a simple message for recruiting blood donors that seems to work.

"Recruiting them with the idea that blood donations don't take that much time," she said. "But the time you do give, it has so much impact. It's only about an hour and it's an action that makes you feel great."

The Feb. 1 blood drive kicked off a full winter-spring semester schedule of six blood drives.  Upcoming blood drives include Feb. 23 in the Shriver Center, March 10 in Armstrong, the March 31 Faculty & Staff blood drive in Shriver, April 13 in Armstrong, and April 19 in Shriver.