Vanderbilt and Texas Knoxville Universities participate in Blood Drive competition!

On February 2nd and 3rd, Vanderbilt University and the University of Tennessee Knoxville hosted their annual blood drive competition, which Vanderbilt had not won since the year of 2005. Though this year was no exception, with Tennessee’s 702 units of blood topping Vanderbilt’s 554, (which as a proud Vanderbilt student, this breaks my heart a bit) this blood drive meant so much more than the competition. With Haiti on everyone’s mind, and the Red Cross doing so much to save lives, there was an overwhelming response to help. Never have I seen so many walk-ins attempt to give blood, even with a full schedule of donors in place. Never have I seen a student government promote a blood drive side by side with their own presidential elections. Never have I seen so many people give blood for the first time.

Amidst planning for this giant blood drive, my “grand-big” in my sorority, Hannah, approached me. She told me that she had never given blood before, and that frankly, she was scared. But she wanted to support me; she wanted to support the Red Cross. I talked her though why I love the Red Cross, how it has been in integral part of my life for the past six years, and offered to sign up to give blood at the same time as her. She agreed.

When it came time for our appointment, I met up with Hannah and we strolled into the drive together. Her anxiety was palpable. But she shook it off, and proceeded to read over the donor information with extreme care.

While we were waiting, Hannah asked me to talk her through what would happen step-by-step, in extreme detail. Although she still wasn’t able to shake her nerves, she bravely walked over when her name was called and gave her pint of blood – saving three lives in the process. Although there were some tears, some lightheaded-ness, and a request that her chair be reclined, she was able to do what the 553 other Vanderbilt students and 702 UT students proudly did- donate blood. They all did their part to help humanity. This was not a competition. Rather, it was a joint effort, a collaboration, and a successful attempt to reach out and help humanity.

Natalie Christian, Vanderbilt University Red Cross Club

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One Response to “Vanderbilt and Texas Knoxville Universities participate in Blood Drive competition!”
  1. Patrick O'Donnell says:

    Natalie,
    I am a long time Red Cross volunteer, former member of the Red Cross Board of Governors, and a Vanderbilt Grad, so it was very gratifying to read your piece about the Vandy – UT “competition” to increase blood donations among the student body. What a great effort – – you & the other organizers are to be commended. Well done. Keep up the great work, and thank you for Vanderbilt’s support of the American Red Cross !!!

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