Donating blood to save lives at GVSU


GVL / Lauren Seymour

Kayla Worthy, Staff Writer

Grand Valley State University, Versiti Blood Center of Michigan and the Community Service Learning center are hosting blood drives being held on campus. Two have already taken place with one being on Tuesday, Sept. 21 and the other happening the day after on the 22nd. 

Versiti is the sole blood supplier to over 80 hospitals in the state of Michigan. Nearly 600 pints of blood need to be collected every day in the state of Michigan to ensure patients have the blood products needed to stay healthy. One pint of blood can save up to three lives and each component collected in a whole blood donation is able to go to a different patient. Red cells go to trauma patients, platelets can go to cancer patients and plasma can go to burn patients. 

“It only takes about an hour to save three lives,” said Ashley Minor of Versiti Blood. “For the rest of 2021, Versiti is offering all donors who attempt to give blood at GVSU a $10 e-gift card as a thank-you for rolling up their sleeves and joining our mission.” 

So far, they are either on track or going above their goals for each blood drive. The goal for Tuesday was 13 donations. They ended up getting 20 donors and left with 17 successful donations. Eight of those donors were first-time donors and all together they saved 51 lives within the community. For Wednesday, the goal was 22 donors and they ended up having 21 with 17 successful donations of whole blood and one double red to total 19. Five of those donors were first-time donors and all together they saved 53 lives within the community. 

“Future blood drive dates are Oct. 12, Oct. 21, Nov. 2 and Nov. 16,” said Student Civic Engagement Associate in the Community Service Learning Center, Lily Camp. “All of our blood drives are sponsored by GVSU student organizations so we also have more drives coming up during the winter semester.” Blood donations usually decline during the winter and holiday season so they are trying to set their goals high for the months before.

“Right now our levels of blood are low and we are working diligently to ensure our supply is high enough, especially heading into the winter and holiday months when donations decline,” Minor said. 

All hospitals in the Allendale and Grand Rapids area are supplied by Versiti Blood Center of Michigan, so should a GVSU student need a transfusion, it is very likely they would be receiving a Versiti blood donor’s gift of blood. 

“Colleges help contribute to about 30% of the blood supply, so college donors are critical to our mission,” Minor said.

To get involved with the blood drives on campus, students will have to go through the Community Service Learning Center or CSLC website: All the dates as well as the location and times of the blood drives being held on campus are available online. There are also options to sign up to donate blood at Versiti and the American Red Cross. Students in on-campus organizations can also partner with Versiti to host their own blood drive. For more information on that, reach out to Versiti.