A wide grin crept across his face as University of Southern Mississippi senior Brandon Vice watched blood ooze from a vein in his left arm.
“My blood is sweet, that’s why they will be glad to have plenty of it,” said Vice, who participated in a blood drive co-sponsored by the university and United Blood Services on Tuesday, Aug. 24 at the R.C. Cook Union Building on campus. “I try to donate every time I see or hear about a blood drive. I like the idea of helping others in need.”
The event served as a prelude to a special “100 Pints for 100 Years” blood drive scheduled for sometime in October. That particular drive is part of the university’s ongoing Centennial Celebration.
“What we’re doing today is basically allowing students, faculty and staff on campus to familiarize themselves with the process of giving blood,” said Kristy Womack, donor recruitment coordinator for United Blood Services. “The turnout has been outstanding and we expect even more donations when we come back in October.”
Womack pointed out that the entire process – from the interview stage until the blood is drawn – takes approximately 30 minutes. And all blood collected by United Blood Services is used to benefit medical facilities in the Hattiesburg area.
Centennial Celebration Coordinator Jennifer Payne said giving back to the community reflects a long-standing tradition among those affiliated with Southern Miss.
“Since our earliest days, our students, faculty and staff have played active roles in the improvement and betterment of the Pine Belt,” said Payne. “Giving blood is one of the simplest ways to make an impact and this drive is evidence of the ongoing Golden Eagle tradition of service and commitment to giving back.”
For more information about United Blood Services, call 601.264.0743 or visit: www.unitedbloodservices.org