Homecoming Blood Drive – By Venkat Ramana Reddy

     Back in my country, when my cousin was born there was an incident. As he was delivered the umbilical cord wasn’t tied properly and he got a blood infection. This infection spread through his blood and within a day of his birth the doctors’ said he would need a complete blood transfusion. His blood group was A+ and while it wasn’t rare, we had a lot of problems getting the blood in time to save his life. At last, we put an ad on TV and four men volunteered to help. This event inspired me to take up the Homecoming Blood Drive project. When my cousin’s life was saved, all I could think was “Tears of a mother cannot save her child, but someone’s blood can” and as important as donations are, the main point of the blood drive is to save the lives of victims effected in hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

     Originally, I was under the assumption that I needed to organize the entire event. With the help of my teammate Maddie Meyer, I got organized and got details about the locations available. I was able to contact the American Red Cross and meet with their representative, Jennifer Freeze, to receive the flyers, registration cards, and pamphlets. She explained that she already had the location picked out and that we just need to ask people in the College of Engineering if they would donate. It was a lesson I learned early in planning the blood drive, you need to find out what should be done first so you don’t waste time. As we tried to spread the word about the blood drive it was very difficult asking people to donate their blood. Dr. DeRuntz gave the fantastic idea of attracting audiences to the blood drive and it worked very well. With the help of Zack and Nate I was able to organize my team and get them to participate in finding people willing to donate blood. Thank you all for giving your time and helping me to improve my project and leadership skills.

     On the day of the Homecoming Blood Drive, I went to all of the locations and noticed that they were crowded with donors. I was so happy to see all of them there. When I spoke to Jennifer she was also very happy to see that all the locations were busy. She mentioned that she couldn’t wait for the Spring Blood Drive that the LDP would put on, which made me happy and excited for what’s to come. I promise that we will give our best for the upcoming blood drive in the spring.