BOURBONNAIS, Ill. — On Wednesday, April 2, the Olivet
Nazarene University men’s basketball team took an afternoon to give back,
literally. Head Coach Ralph Hodge and Assistant Coach Nick Birkey, along with 17 returning players, donated blood to the American Red Cross Blood Drive
in Chalfant Hall. The donation event was organized by Olivet's Nursing Students’
Association (NSA) and President Emily Picklesimer.
The men’s basketball team was a
small share of the 181 people who donated to the blood bank, helping collect 165
pints of blood which exceeded the day’s goal of 140.
Junior point guard Austin
Davis (North Augusta, S. C.) commented on his experience: “I was nervous initially
because it was my first time donating. After hearing that one pint of
my own blood can save three lives, it helped reassure me that it was all for
a great cause.”
Picklesimer and the NSA are pleased to be a part of something
so significant. “NSA thoroughly enjoys hosting the Red Cross Blood Drive every
semester and count it as an honor to be a part of saving so many lives," she said. "We
truly appreciate all the support we get from students campus-wide to help
provide our community with a blood bank.”
The ONU Nursing Students' Association (NSA) is a council
that organizes the campus-wide blood drive every semester, organizes nursing
department events to keep everyone connected, and serves as a voice from students to professors. Their desire is to create a connected body of nursing
The NSA has a multitude of volunteers from every level of
nursing who assist during the blood drive. This year there were 38 volunteers
from the ONU Nursing Department. The Level 5 (Senior) Nursing Students'
Association (NSA) members stay the entire day to manage the blood drive. This
year those students were Emily Picklesimer (president), Tyler Cary (vice president), Rebecca Busler (fundraiser), Michelle Towle (secretary), Lindsey
Johnson (treasurer), and Sarah Toporek and Jeremy Weber (Level 5 Representatives).
Each semester the NSA develops a theme for the blood drive;
Wednesday’s theme was "Building a Better Community One Blood Bank at a
Time." The nursing students were wearing hard hats and vests, and the blood
bank was decorated with orange cones and caution tape.
The Red Cross donation center in Peoria, Ill., serviced Wednesday’s blood drive and counts on Olivet every
semester as being one of their largest blood drives. NSA hosts a blood drive at
least once a semester each school year.