Miller-Keystone Blood Center will host the first blood drive competition between Lehigh and Lafayette from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m on Nov. 28 in Lamberton Hall. The blood center will also host a blood drive at Lafayette College on the same day.
The school with the most pints of donated blood will win the Blood Challenge Cup and keep the trophy until next year’s competition. The winning college will also have its name inscribed on the trophy with the year.
Although each donor gives one pint of blood, not all of it is usable.
Diane Lee, the Miller-Keystone donor resource representative for Lehigh, said she thinks the Lehigh-Lafayette drive will bring in more donors because of the competitive aspect.
“We thought that it would be a win-win, meaning the donors from Lehigh and Lafayette would be more willing to participate if they felt as though they would be able to be the winners of the challenge,” Lee said. “And a win-win for us because we felt that it would put more donors on the schedule.”
The Lehigh community can sign up for the blood drive through the Community Service Office. Gift cards to The Goose will be distributed to those who donate courtesy of Theta Chi, according to the event flyer.
Although this is the first competitive blood drive for Le-Laf, other colleges have hosted blood drive challenges in the past. Lee said she looks for schools or organizations that are always in a competitive mindset, such as Freedom and Liberty high schools.
Lee said Miller-Keystone holds about four blood drives a year at Lehigh, but for this one, it had to schedule extra staff. Lehigh also purchased a blood drop-shaped costume for someone to wear.
Nicole Clarke, ’21, tries to donate blood every time there’s a drive on campus.
“I think it’s a good thing to do,” Clarke said. “It doesn’t harm us in any way. If I’m able to (donate), I’d like to.”
Miller-Keystone is different from organizations such as the Red Cross because it keeps the blood it collects in the area. It has contracts with 22 hospitals in the Lehigh Valley and fulfills requests once a month.
There are many factors that can disqualify someone from donating blood, including if the potential donor has a cold that day, recently traveled outside of the country or recently got a tattoo or piercing.
Michael Mauriello, ’19, is also a frequent blood donor and said he only found out it was a Le-Laf competition after signing up.
“I think it’s a nice and easy way to try and contribute back,” Mauriello said. “I think Lehigh students will do anything in their power to beat Lafayette.”
If marketed well, Mauriello thinks a lot more students will sign up to donate than in usual blood drives.
Lee said it will probably take a day to figure out the winner and will most likely be announced in an email.