By Austin Bohlen/Delta Staff Writer

Missouri Valley College students and alumni came out to donate blood for the American Red Cross. The blood drive was held April 1, in the Ferguson Center on Missouri Valley’s campus. Missouri Valley also held a blood drive in February earlier this year.

The COVID-19 pandemic created many challenges for organizations like the American Red Cross.  Hillary Albert, an employee for the American Red Cross, spoke about the challenges blood drives face during the pandemic.

“We are having fewer drives compared to pre-COVID times and the drives are less populated because we want to try as best as we can to get social distancing with the donors,” Albert said. “Fewer people are showing out and if people are sick, they can’t donate. So that does affect how much blood we’re able to get and there is a higher need for it as well since more people are in the hospital.”

Despite all the challenges, plenty of the MVC community were motivated to donate. The American Red Cross was projected to collect 21 units of blood and ended up collecting 23 units.  Shelby Holliday, a student at MVC and a regular donor, talked about the significance of donating blood.  

“It’s really important and the more people that do it, the better for the people that need it,” Holliday said.

Diane Yadrich, the Director of Activities, said blood donated through blood drives can save lives.

“Giving blood helps those who medically need it,” Yadrich said. “Just one blood donation can possibly save up to three lives.”

Some donors have personal experiences with friends or family needing blood. Sharon Murdock, an MVC alumni, recalled a personal experience when her husband needed blood. 

“Back years ago, my husband had a carotid aneurysm, which was repaired,” Murdock said. “While he was in the hospital, he had an aneurysm that burst going to his spleen and we almost lost him.”

Murdock is an active donor and stated that she has donated about 33 times. 

The blood drive from February collected 25 units. Typical blood drives held on Missouri Valley’s campus before the pandemic would collect between 20 to 30 units. The blood donated from this drive will go to Saint Louis for testing before being distributed to local hospitals in the area.