The Nebraska Community Blood Bank and University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Innocents Society wrapped up their Blood Rivals blood drive Friday, and drive leaders say they’re confident they met their blood donor goal of more than 150 students.
“They don’t call Nebraska the ‘Heartland’ for nothing,” said Ashlee Deeds, a blood drive recruiter for the blood bank.
Final tallies of the number of donors and amount of blood donated will not be available until Monday, drive officials said.
The two-day event allowed students to be involved in the Corn Bowl philanthropic competition between the UNL and the University of Iowa. The Corn Bowl exchange will take place on Nov. 23, when the schools compete both in football and the philanthropy for the Corn Bowl trophy. The school that wins the philanthropy will have its name printed on the trophy. The school that wins the football game will also have its name printed on the trophy.
“(The students) liked the idea of the competition between Iowa and were very excited about having the drive in the residence hall,” Deeds said. “The ripple effect of this excitement inspired hope that they will be helping patients and their families.”
Student donors and drive leaders said the event combined competition with a commitment to the community and showed the power of student involvement.
“We are very proud of the students that came to donate blood,” Deeds said. “When young people (start) donating in high school and college they continue to donate throughout their lives.”
From 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday, the Innocents Society, UNL’s Residence Hall Association and Nebraska Community Blood Bank hosted the blood drive in Mari’s Lounge in Sandoz Hall.
On Friday the blood bank’s Bloodmobile was parked on 16th Street, north of lot C and south of The Village, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Innocents Society also held an active role during the donating process, according to Deeds.
“The Innocents Society was wonderful to work with,” she said. “They had student volunteers helping every day. They helped in the canteen area where donors go after their donation to eat cookies and rest.”
Members of the society also dressed as Half-Pint, the blood drop mascot of the Nebraska Community Blood Bank, who could be seen high-fiving students and encouraging them to give blood on the corner of 16th and Vine streets on Friday.
Michael Mumaugh, the society’s Keeper of Traditions, was one of the members who helped students to the snack table after they donated blood.
“Students who came in and donated are great,” said Mumaugh, a senior industrial engineering major. “They showed wonderful commitment to the community and a desire to help others.”
Stephanie Haiar, a freshman pre-nursing major, donated blood for the first time on Thursday.
“I thought, ‘I have blood, so I might as well help others who need it,’” Haiar said. “It was just a 10-minute wait, and then you sat in a comfy chair and squeezed a ball while they took your blood.”
Haiar, who plans to go into the nursing field, was not frightened about her first blood donation experience.
“I was excited,” she said. “During the process, the needles didn’t hurt and I didn’t feel lightheaded at all.”
Mumaugh said Haiar’s feelings toward the blood donation process were mirrored by most students who chose to participate.
“The average student was a combination of excited and nervous,” Mumaugh said.
Both Mumaugh and Deeds think the blood drive met the goals for the Corn Bowl Trophy exchange.
“I believe we came very close to (our) goal both days. I know we exceeded the goal for Thursday,” Deeds said. “The UNL students are wonderful; they really showed how caring the Huskers are.”