May 3, 2019

OXFORD, Ohio - The historic 40th annual Greek Week Blood Drive set the pace for a milestone year of giving blood and helping save lives at Miami University.

Donor support from students, faculty, and community members rose 13 percent in the 2018-2019 academic year, and student sponsor groups gave dedicated volunteer support all the way to the final blood drive on April 30.

Miami University partnered with Community Blood Center to host nine student-sponsored blood drives, four Faculty and Staff blood drives, and the two-day Greek Week Blood drive - a total of 15 days dedicated to helping save lives.  The blood drives totaled 1,438 donors, including 608 first-time donors and 1,074 units of blood donated.

The total number of donors supporting the blood drives rose 13 percent compared to the 2017-2018 school year. Total donations rose 12 percent, and the number of first-time donors jumped 34 percent.

The final blood drive of the semester on April 30 came at a busy time with just eight days of classes remaining before final exams and the exodus for summer.  Despite that challenge, 51 first-time donors supported the blood drive, just one shy of the 52 first-time donors who turned out for the first student blood drive in October.

An important part of the year's success came from the 40th annual Greek Week Blood Drive in September.  The inaugural Greek Week Blood Drive in 1978 was CBC's first college campus blood drive and remains the biggest blood drive in the region.   The 2018 blood drive totaled 428 donors and donations rose 47 percent increase over the previous year.

"I am never surprised but always impressed to learn of our students' service to others," "said Miami University President Greg Crawford.

"We do a lot for the community," said freshman Jonathan Tipping as he made his first donation.   His fraternity Lambda Chi Alpha is a blood drive sponsor.  "We have service activities we can do as a fraternity and as an individual."

"There were more than 20 students sponsor groups who volunteered their time and encouraged their members to donate.   They are big part of this success," said CBC Account Representative Sandy Baur. "The National Residence Hall Honorary deserves a special thank you for volunteering at every blood drive!"

"We do service projects and we do way many blood drives!" said sophomore donor Sofia Fernandez, a NHRH volunteer who graduated from Alter High School. "I'm interested in the medical field and I know people need blood. It's not something you can always get necessarily."

"It's up to us," said NRHH volunteer Jessica Patrick. "We put all the service events on the club calendar we sign up. We have to do at least three per semester."

Co-sponsors with NRHH included PAVES and Phi Beta Sigma, plus new sponsors MU Students for Life, Pre-PA Club, Hillel: Association of Jewish Students, and Students for Israel.

Gabrielle Godawski, a freshman from Chicago, was one of the first-time donors at the spring blood drive. "I never did it before and I was interested," said Gabrielle, who will be studying in Spain this summer. "It's now that I had the time."

Kaylynn Borror celebrated her 20th birthday by donating. "Because I couldn't the last time because my hemoglobin was too low!" she said.

Nick Simbartl from West Chester is only a junior but made his 19th lifetime donation at the final spring blood drive. He became a regular donor in high school and was inspired by tradition, both in his family at and at Miami.

"My dad used to work here at Miami University back in the 90's" said Nick. "He always donated."

The campus blood drive schedule slows during the summer months, but there's never a complete break from helping save lives.  The Faculty and Staff's next blood drive will be June 19 at the Shriver Center.  The 41st annual Greek Week Blood Drive is set for Sept. 23-24, 2019.