October 1, 2021

OXFORD, Ohio - When you need friends, it's good to be Greek. And like Helen of Troy, it also helps to have Greek women on your side.

Community Blood Center counted on Miami University to make a strong comeback from COVID-19 with the 43rd annual Greek Week Blood Drive Sept. 30 at the Armstrong Student Center. The Greeks delivered with a single-day blood drive that surpassed 182% of collection goal with 244 donors, including 188 donations and 136 first-time donors.

Campus sororities continued their trend of outnumbering fraternity participation with 93% of successful donations coming from female donors.

"Our philanthropy is breast cancer," said Zeta Tau Alpha member Cayla Coburn, a junior from Baltimore, Maryland who made her first lifetime donation at the Greek Week Blood Drive. "For every member of our chapter who donates you get a point, and all those points add up to be the winner of Greek Week."

A year ago, after a fall surge in the pandemic, students were barely returning to in-person classes and all Greek Week activities had been cancelled. MU made an exception for the time-honored tradition of the two-day Greek Week blood drive. It carried on bravely under strict COVID restraints and totaled 149 donors.

This year, the blood drive returned to a one-day schedule, yet eclipsed last year's two-day total number of donors by 63%. First-time donors rose 86%.

"I've been very busy, so this is my first (Greek Week) event that I've done," said first-time donor Kat McCoy, a Kappa Delta member from Brick, New Jersey. "I was going to do it anyway because I want to do it."

Miami became the birthplace of CBC college blood drives with the first Greek Week Blood Drive in 1978.  It became a two-day blood drive in 2007 and was consistently CBC's biggest annual blood drive.  Miami remains CBC's longest-standing blood drive partner.

"This is my first Greek Week since we didn't get to do it last year," said Phi Gamma Delta fraternity member Carter Schlesner, a first-time donor from Cincinnati. "One of our guys said there's a blood drive today and I said, 'I'll get some community service and help someone else.'"

A full Greek Week Blood Drive comeback from COVID is yet to be seen, with blood collection this year 35% below the pre-pandemic blood drive of 2019.  With all its rich tradition, Greek Week is just part of Miami's commitment to six student blood drives per semester, plus faculty and staff blood drives.

"I would have done this regardless if it was for Greek Week," said Beta Pi member Danny Chaves, who made a double red blood cell donation at the blood drive. "We've won two out of three events this week, and this is the best opportunity for us to get points and win the overall Greek Week, and this is a great way to do it."