441 Lives Saved: SMSU Blood Drive Saves with Many Donations


Kim Watkins

Alex Pikala donates at the bi-annual blood drive.

Kim Watkins, News Editor

441 lives. That’s how many people were saved by the donations at the Southwest Minnesota State University’s Bi-Annual Blood Drive, held on Wednesday, April 11 in the Lower Conference Center.
We ended up collecting 147 units of blood, which saves 441 lives. The head nurse, Debbie, said that this can be deemed a very successful drive because of the short wait time, the smoothness of the operation, and that we beat our goal of 145 by 2 units,” Joe Longshore, MSUSA campus coordinator, said.
There were 21 double red cells donated as well as 105 single cells, bringing the total number of units to 147. The record from last spring was 163 units.
“The staff and donors were very happy with how smooth things ran, and I did not hear of any complaints. …it could not have been done without our Student Senate volunteers and a couple others, namely Torrie Ward and Dan Kilkelly who generously gave their time to help welcome, direct, and feed the donors after they gave blood,” Longshore said.
There were many volunteers that donated to the Blood Drive. Registration was open online and in SMSU leading up to the drive. Many registered members donated and there were also a good number of walk-ins.
“This is my ninth time donating. I like giving blood – my dad liked giving blood – and it’s cool to see the blood go through the tube because I made that,” Mason Hammerlund, a senior history and education major, said.
“Cautionary tale: Eat a big breakfast and drink lots of water leading up to the drive,” Mary Lamb, freshman, said.
Many donations came from Domino’s, Dairy Queen, Bagels and Brew, Pepsi, Hy-Vee, Perkins and Jimmy John’s.
“I give a shout-out to all these places and thank them for helping with this great cause,” Longshore said.
Thanks to all the students and faculty who donated or attempted to donate at the Blood Drive.