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Mobile blood drive welcomes walk-ins

Katie Peralta | Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The 40-foot long Bloodmobile and accompanying Blood Drop mascot were hard to miss for students walking to class from the stadium lots yesterday morning, as the South Bend Medical Foundation (SBMF) held its first monthly mobile blood drive Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in front of Gate D of the Stadium to encourage walk-in donations.

“Notre Dame students are very generous when it comes to blood donations and we are so thankful for the support of the students, faculty and staff,” SBMF Communications Specialist Colleen Hahn said.

Although there was no target number of donors for Tuesday’s blood drive, event staff expressed disappointment with Tuesday’s turnout of 20 donors and said they hope to double the number of student, faculty and staff donations at next month’s drive.

“Since this is the first time we have tried a bloodmobile drive without a specific sponsor we did not have a numerical goal. Normally we would like to see 10 donors an hour in our bloodmobile,” Kay Clark-Cox, blood donor recruitment manager for the SBMF, said.

Clark-Cox said the SBMF previously held blood drives about four or five times a year on campus but hopes to attract more donors by scheduling more blood drives.

“Notre Dame students, faculty, staff and alumni are our largest contributor of blood units to South Bend Medical Foundation,” Clark-Cox said.

The drive’s convenient location near DeBartolo Hall and the Mendoza College of Business will make it easy for students, faculty and staff to stop by and donate before class or work, Clark-Cox said.

“We wanted to make blood donation readily available to commuter students and faculty,” said.

The donation process, according to the SBMF Web site, includes four steps: registration, screening, donation and rejuvenation.

The mobile blood drives will take place every fourth Tuesday or Wednesday of each month, Clark-Sox said, and each donor can make a blood donation every 56 days.

“Many students stopped and asked when we were going to back and we will probably change the times to 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. next month,” Clark-Cox said.

Each donor will receive a free T-shirt after his or her donation.

“The ND Donor shirt is only given out at blood drives held on the ND campus and it was designed by blood drive coordinators from last year’s campus blood drives,” Clark-Cox said. “They have become a very coveted item.”

Advertisements in The Observer and employee newsletters will inform the Notre Dame community of next month’s mobile blood drive.