Basketball Player Organizes Blood Drive
Rather than gathering in the gymnasium on November 10, members of the men’s basketball team assembled in the Grand Lobby of the Ozinga Chapel to help out with a Red Cross blood drive. The event was organized by senior basketball student-athlete Michael Thompson of Macomb, Illinois, as a part of the Red Cross/NAIA Youth Leadership Program.
Last summer Thompson spent two weeks in Washington D.C. in leadership training with Red Cross and NAIA executives. In response to the community and cultural training he received, Thompson took the lead in planning the blood drive—working with the local Red Cross and securing volunteers and advertising the event.
Thompson’s teammates, and other Trinity students, served as volunteers throughout the day, helping with registration, handing out snacks and t-shirts, and conversing with the blood donors.
“We had a total of 86 donors, mostly students and faculty members, and we were able to donate 71 units of blood,” said Thompson. “The initial goal was 39 units. After revising that number a couple of times, we set the target at 57. It was great to see how we exceeded expectations.”
The blood collected from the drive will go to the Red Cross, which will test it and distribute it locally or nationally. Through the event, Thompson hoped to draw an awareness of the need to donate blood and to encourage everyone to do their part. In Chicago alone, the daily need is 1,500 units of blood.
“I thought the drive went well and it was nice to have my teammates support me by helping out,” said Thompson. “The event was scheduled to run from 10 to 4 p.m. but went about an hour longer as we had people still donating. We did get backed-up a little when classes let out, and we had more walk-ins than expected, but that was a good problem to have.”
During the day, a representative of the local Red Cross chapter as well as the CEO and the head of donor relations from the regional headquarters were present and offered positive feedback.
Thompson plans to organize another blood drive on campus in the spring. He is considering expanding that event by advertising in the community.
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