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2014-04-02 Tigers give back, donate to American Red Cross Blood Drive
2014 Blood Drive (1)

Tiger men's basketball team gives back by donating to American Red Cross Blood Drive

Author: Nick Birkey
Posted: Thursday, April 03, 2014 at 9:50 AM
2014 Blood Drive (2)

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 students.

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.