May 2, 2018

OXFORD, Ohio - Miami University students will depart for summer break with a report card full of high marks for community service. High on the list of honors is their outstanding support for campus blood drives during the 2017-2018 academic year.

Miami University partnered with Community Blood Center to host eight student-sponsored blood drives, six Faculty and Staff sponsored blood drives, and the two-day Greek Week Blood drive - a total of 16 days dedicated to helping save lives.  They totaled 1,273 donors, including 454 first-time donors and 957 units of blood donated.

The eight student-sponsored blood drives averaged 100 percent of collection goals. "There were 21 sponsor groups responsible for all this success," said CBC Account Representative Sandy Baur. "I enjoyed working with all of these bright, responsible and organized Miami students from the beginning stages of planning through the final execution of each blood drive."

Student sponsor groups included: Alpha Delta Pi; Alpha Phi Omega (2 blood drives); Colleges Against Cancer; Delta Sigma Theta Sorority; Equestrian Team; Generation Action;Gift of Life; Lambda Chi Alpha (2 blood drives); National Student Speech Language Hearing Association; Phi Delta Epsilon; Pi Kappa Phi; Pre-PA; PRSSA; Sigma Lambda Gamma; Students For Life; Students Together Empowering Minorities; Tau Beta Sigma; The National Residence Hall Honorary; Theta Tau; Women's Rugby Football Club; Young Conservative Women of America.

"My girlfriend is a member of the Pre-PA club," said sophomore donor Mike Meleka at the April 12 blood drive. "This is my first time donating at Miami. I wouldn't have done it if she hadn't mentioned it, but I'm ready to!"

Mike's girlfriend Izzy Post stopped by his donor bed to give support and talk about why it's important for future health professionals to volunteer at blood drives.

"We shouldn't be afraid of needles!" said Izzy. "It's something that we learn how important it is because it saves so many lives."

Freshman Maddie Wagner from Centerville was inspired to start donating during Christmas break and made her first Miami donation on April 12. "I had been going to church a lot and everything was 'give, give, give,'" she said.   "I was a little phobic about needles, but I said I've got to get over it!"

The six blood drives sponsored by Miami Faculty and Staff in 2017-2018 averaged nearly 100 percent of goal.  Jonathan Ralinovsky, a piano technician in the Music Department, made his 12th lifetime donation at the April 12 blood drive.

"It's a pretty easy way to do something that can potentially make a difference," said Jonathan. "It's not a process that I'm in love with! But the thought of someone suffering for not enough blood is so much worse."

The Miami campus is quieter during the summer, but there's never a break from helping saving lives.  The Faculty and Staff's next blood drive will be June 6 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Shriver Center.