“Each semester [the Nurse’s Student Association (NSA)] sponsors a blood drive through the Red Cross and try to get as many students to donate as possible. By today we had 240 people sign up but we also take people who walk in,” said NSA President Jori Evans. “Our goal this semester was 165 units of blood, so each person who comes and gives they take one unit of blood from them. The goal essentially is 165 people but we look to beat that goal every semester.”
Senior Rebekah Rivers has donated for the last three years. “It’s just a super easy way to help people. You could go off campus and do a crazy big thing, but this is just right here and super easily accessible,” Rivers said. “You come in and you sit back for 20 minutes and they take blood.”
Rivers was kept from donating her freshman year due to an iron deficiency, but now has no problems giving and used it as a reason to skip an afternoon class.
Any given month there can be about eight to ten blood drives within Kankakee County. Anna Victorson is the Red Cross local account manager who helps plan Olivet’s semiannual blood drives along with students on campus.
If students miss the on campus blood drive or want to give more often Victorson said, “We have a Red Cross center in Bourbonnais just five minutes from campus that holds a drive every Thursday.”
The Red Cross also coordinates with other schools, churches, and businesses in the area to host regular drives and promote them around the community.
“We get a lot of people that donate on a regular basis. We also have a lot of medical majors. They get really involved with this since they’re going into medicine,” Evans said. “We do get a few first time donors; a lot of people sign up for the first time to donate once they come to Olivet because they’ll sign up with friends when they get to school.”