Red Cross Blood Battle underway
MSU beat Penn State at football, and now there's a chance to win again.
The MSU American Red Cross Club has organized a Blood Battle to see which university can secure the most blood donations from Oct. 30 to Nov. 17.
The Blood Battle tradition is now in its 24th year. For the past three years, Penn State has come out on top.
"This is the 23rd time the schools will be squaring off with Penn State currently leading in the win column 14 to Michigan State’s 8," a press release from the club said.
The club hopes that student involvement will be ramped up in order to win. MSU American Red Cross Club Publicity Chair Matthew Chmielewski said participation has been a challenge in recent years.
“In the past, it’s meant a lot to the university and the club," Chmielewski said. "The numbers are down, and it’s been really hard for us to fill our quotas.”
However, Chmielewski believes there's hope under the guidance of a regional manager, as well as with more outreach to students.
“I think we have about 40 members," Chmielewski said. "We just currently got a regional manager to overlook things, so we’re really looking to turn the tide and beat Penn State this year.”
The press release detailed some of the incentives that students have for participating in the drive.
"Besides the gratification of knowing you helped save someone’s life while simultaneously contributing to beating Penn State you will also get a free t-shirt AND food," the press release said.
Chmielewski said that while the results may feel intangible, donating blood has a real impact on
“It’s hard to see," Chmielewski said. "I think for some people it’s hard to put the connection together, but you’re almost directly saving lives."
Chmielewski also detailed the impact that the East Lansing community was able to have on the victims of the recent mass shooting in Las Vegas.
“When things like Las Vegas happened a few weeks ago, our American Red Cross in the Lansing area shipped 250 units of blood over out west," Chmielewski said.
According to the MSU American Red Cross club website, the Blood Battle against Penn State is one of the club's main initiatives. However, it isn't the only one. Their tasks also include volunteering to feed the homeless and other volunteer services.
In the end, the goal of the club comes down to encouraging students to help people by donating blood. Chmielewski implored students to participate in the remaining opportunities to donate during the Blood Battle.
"So, I mean it might not seem like it when you’re just sitting there in between classes, but if you’re there for whatever reason, whether you want the food or the free T-shirt, you’re actually donating to the stockpile of blood that will be used in emergencies," Chmielewski said.
According to the press release, registration to donate blood on campus can be found on the American Red Cross website. To register, go to "Find a Blood Drive" and use the sponsor code "MSU" to pick a time and location.