Students give blood during Greek Week

Lexington freshman Madelyn Culbertson looks to Bowling Green freshman Audrey Brown for comfort while Nashville Red Cross professional phlebotomist Laura Hartsock prepares her arm to donate blood.

Mitchell Grogg

People got their blood flowing at the Preston Center earlier this week — but not for the reason most people might expect.

During this week’s Greek Week blood drive, more than a thousand people made appointments to give blood, and the Red Cross collected more than 700 units of blood.

Glasgow junior Taylor Emberton, who served as one of the blood drive’s chairpersons, said these numbers are some of the highest in the country for this type of blood drive.

“This is actually one of the largest collegiate blood drives in the nation,” she said.

Emberton also said the turnout was higher this year, in light of the recent bombings at the Boston Marathon, which encouraged some students, including Atlanta, Ga. junior Laney Griffeth, to donate.

“I noticed, especially after the Boston Marathon bombings, that a lot of people need a lot of blood, so it’s easy for me to do,” she said.

Griffeth said she also gave blood because of the relatively small time commitment necessary and the ease of donating blood.

“It’s frustrating because it’s such an easy thing to do,” she said. “And a lot of the other blood drives, I’ve just been like ‘I’m too busy’ or, you know, I’ve been lazy about it.”

She also said that donating comes easier when the need for blood hits closer to home.

“When you have a family member or a friend that really needs blood…you’re more willing to do it,” she said. “But, you know, you just have to remember that people need it.”

White House, Tenn. junior Caleb Nobles, who donated blood Monday, said he really believes in what the Red Cross does.

“I believe that they, you know, help to save lives, and I think each person counts,” he said.

In addition to the boost the drive gives to the blood supply, it also boosts unity among the Greek community at WKU.

“It’s really cool to see the Greeks come together,” Emberton said.

Franklin senior Hannah Scott said the Greek component has made the blood drive a yearly event for her.

“I always do it,” she said. “So it’s just tradition and I like to support my friend’s fraternity.”

Competition and Greek Week aside, the organizers also said the event is about helping people who need it.

“It’s not about who wins,” said Emberton. “It’s about how many lives we save.”