University News

'Pay it Forward' Blood Drive Planned for Jan. 29 at WIU

January 22, 2014

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MACOMB, IL – A blood drive inspired by a graduate-level class at Western Illinois University will be held this year on Wednesday, Jan. 29 in the University's Multicultural Center.

The drive, which runs from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., was an idea generated by WIU staff members and Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS) graduate students Gretchen Steil-Weiss and Shannon Reed. The two developed the blood drive idea as part of a class taught by Associate Professor Diane Sandage, where they were assigned to develop a "pay it forward" project.

Both women have been personally impacted by life situations involving the need for blood, so they worked together to organize and implement a blood drive. This is the fourth year for the "Pay it Forward" event, even though Steil-Weiss and Reed have both received their LAS master's degrees.

Steil-Weiss and Reed are joined in this year's drive by the Students for Disability Awareness.

Anyone who would like to give blood for the event can contact Steil-Weiss at or Reed at Walk-in donation sessions will be open at 11 a.m.

Donors should eat something before coming to the donation sessions and bring photo identification. For more information on blood donation, visit

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