MTU holds blood drive: Drive finishes on Thursday

Garrett Neese/Daily Mining Gazette Red Cross team leader Nathan Carmody checks on Natalie Nelson of Houghton as she participates in Michigan Technological University’s biannual blood drive.

HOUGHTON — Michigan Technological University students took time out of their first week of class to provide a much-needed boost to the Upper Peninsula’s blood supply during Tech’s biannual blood drive.

The two-day drive is put on by Tech’s Order of Omega, a Greek honor society, and the American Red Cross. There wasn’t a set goal — just to do better than the semester before, said Kelsey Fournier of Order of Omega. The most recent drive, held in the spring, netted more than 400 pints.

“I think the Tech community makes it successful because everybody’s willing to go the extra mile and help out for their community,” Fournier said. “They know there’s a blood shortage right now. Even though there’s no gift cards or T-shirts, people are still coming out.”

Some were former students returning to campus, such as Natalie Nelson of Houghton, who works downtown. With the convenient location at Tech’s Van Opie Library, she tries to make it as often as she can.

“People need it,” Nelson said. “It’s just something meaningful to do with your time.”

The Red Cross is great at making people feel comfortable, Nelson said.

Afterwards, students recuperated with complimentary snacks and juices.

Kimberly Gasca, a fourth-year psychology student, sported a red bandage marking the spot of the draw.

“I did it last year and really enjoyed it,” she said. “It does make an impact, and I like doing little stuff that makes an impact. Even though it’s only me, it still does something.”