Members of campus community show up in force to blood drive

By Collegian News Staff

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Amanda Joinson

Nearly 200 pints of blood were netted yesterday at a drive sponsored by the University of Massachusetts Police Department.

“That’s a really good day,” said Nancy Russ, the recruitment manager for the Pioneer Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross, which helped to organize the event.

An average drive, Russ said, usually draws in about 40-to-45 pints of blood.

The event, which was put on by the community outreach branch of the UMPD, strived to try to help combat blood shortages.

“There’s a shortage” of blood, said Officer James Roberts of the UMPD outreach branch.

Roberts added that yesterday’s drive was the second such annual event put on by the department.

“It beat the other one,” he said, noting that the department put on another drive last September, and will do the same this year.

Additionally, Roberts said, the drive and other UMPD outreach efforts help to show students that the police staff focuses on other ventures than just ordering arrests or issuing citations.

“The chief is gung-ho for this type of activity,” Roberts said, noting that events akin to yesterday’s reassure the campus community that members of the police department are approachable for a variety of reasons.

While yesterday’s blood-intake goal was set at 250 pints, Russ said the 200 mark was still exemplary. She added that the Red Cross is always in need of blood donations.

“There’s always a need for blood,” Russ said, noting that just in New England, the Red Cross needs to take in 2,000-to-3,000 pints of blood per day to keep up with demand.

Additionally, she said, college students tend to be generous when it comes to donating blood.

“They are very enthusiastic,” Russ said. “UMass is one … of the best sponsors we have.”

Anyone interested in participating in other area blood drives, Russ said, can find a complete listing of them on the Red Cross’s website,

-Collegian News Staff