Tuesday, April 23, 2024

MSU to hold third annual blood drive showdown against U of M

April 1, 2024
<p>Michigan State interdisciplinary studies sophomore Antoinette Levra is in the process of giving blood during the Blood Drive Showdown sponsored by the MSU UBI chapter in the West Holmes lobby, on April 7, 2022. </p><p>When asked why she was donating today Levra said, &quot;I always donate, but haven&#x27;t had the chance since I haven&#x27;t been home in awhile, so I decided to donate here today.&quot;</p>

Michigan State interdisciplinary studies sophomore Antoinette Levra is in the process of giving blood during the Blood Drive Showdown sponsored by the MSU UBI chapter in the West Holmes lobby, on April 7, 2022.

When asked why she was donating today Levra said, "I always donate, but haven't had the chance since I haven't been home in awhile, so I decided to donate here today."

Photo by Jared Osborne | The State News

The MSU chapter of University Blood Initiative is looking to defend its back-to-back wins against the University of Michigan in the third annual Battle of the Mitten Blood Drive Showdown on April 4. 

University Blood Initiative, or UBI, is a nationwide organization with 24 chapters looking to prevent blood shortages by empowering young people throughout the country to give blood and advocate for an equitable blood supply. In Michigan, Spartans and Wolverines have put their long-standing rivalry to use supporting Michigan hospitals.

Human biology and psychology senior, and MSU UBI president, Kezen Sanchez said the competition brings MSU students together with a common goal of defeating their rival school. During the showdown drives, the organization sees far more donations than other drives during the year, he said.

"It's a huge community builder," Sanchez said. "As MSU students, we have this pact to want to succeed. We can succeed over and over and over again if we keep this three year streak going. So, I am excited to hopefully clutch that win again."

This year, MSU UBI is striving to receive 50 units of blood in donations, MSU UBI vice president Ryan Eitniear said. This goal would require 75 individuals to donate and would save the lives of approximately 150 people, he said.

MSU UBI’s donation partner, Versiti, is a blood center dedicated specifically to the state of Michigan. All donations collected during the showdown will go directly to Michigan hospitals and residents, Sanchez said.

"We have family here, we have friends here," Sanchez said. "Making sure that all of these hospitals are supplied with this blood is so, so important for our loved ones and even just people that we share our community with."

The blood drive will be held on April 4 from 12:30 to 6:15 p.m. in the West Holmes Lobby. Potential donors should schedule an appointment through Versiti, though walk-ins will be accepted if there are open slots, Sanchez said.

Eitniear said all donors must bring a valid form of identification that shows their birthdate. He also encourages students to get plenty of sleep, food and water before their appointment. 

Participants will also receive a $10 e-gift card following their donation.

"It's amazing that we as students can contribute," Sanchez said. "We really want to aim to get all these units of blood because I want to have that impact on our community as well. I really just hope that a lot of people are encouraged to donate and aren’t afraid for their first time donating."

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