DAYTON, Ohio – Students marched with determination across the University of Dayton campus, bracing against the gray sky, a chill breeze and snow flurries on Tuesday, Dec. 4. They have a lot on their minds during the final week of fall classes with exams next week, and then home for the holidays. Yet many were just as determined to donate at the semester’s final blood drive.
On Tuesday it meant climbing the hill to the Virginia W. Kettering Residence Hall. UD hosts eight Community Blood Center blood drives during the school year, and “VWK” is the only blood drive not held at the RecPlex.
As students entered the warmth of the residence hall they were greeted by volunteers from the blood drive student sponsor groups: Phi Sigma Rho engineering sorority, the PAVE student organization for preventing sexual violence, and the American Red Cross service club.
“It’s not the best week!” said volunteer Kaylee Hargis, a junior from Cleveland. “I think it’s more stressful than finals week. But we can’t hold the blood drive any later, because some people only have one or two finals and they’re gone.”
Senior Katherine Krauss made the time to donate to support her Phi Sigma Rho sorority. Sophomore Madison Millhouse from Centerville was encouraged by a friend. Senior Andrew Lynch from Pittsburgh gets regular reminders to donate as a member of the AED pre-med honor society.
Together they totaled 30 donors, including 13 first-time donors and 24 donations. The Marianist tradition at UD links learning with leadership and service, and for many the blood drive is a chance to help others at holiday time.
UD’s centerpiece holiday charitable event will be the 55th annual “Christmas on Campus” coming up Friday, Dec. 7. The students will entertain more than 1,000 Dayton Public Schools students under the theme “One Night, One Community.”
“We’re helping out with hot chocolate,” said ARC club volunteer Scott Gorecke, a freshman from Rochester, New York. “We handed out a thousand cups last year.” Scott got hooked on U.D. on his first visit while in high school. “Everyone loves it when they visit here,” he said.
CBC thanked Tuesday donors with the gift of colorful holiday socks. “I have socks already from the blood drive last year,” said Grace Godard from Akron who made her milestone fifth lifetime donation with CBC.
“For the amount of good it does, it’s really easy,” said Grace. “It makes me happy that I can make a personal impact on someone – just knowing that. It’s easy for me to come between classes, for an hour out of my day. It’s good for the impact it has to really help people.”