University News

Second Annual Pay It Forward Blood Drive Jan. 30 at WIU

January 5, 2012

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MACOMB, IL -- Pay it forward and help others in need with a blood donation later this month at Western Illinois University. From 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday, Jan. 30, the Second Annual Pay It Forward Blood Drive -- sponsored by the liberal arts and sciences (LAS) program at Western, the WIU Disability Resource Center and the Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center -- will be held in the Horrabin Hall gym on the WIU-Macomb campus.

The Pay It Forward Blood Drive debuted last year in January, during National Blood Donor month, and was organized by Gretchen Steil Weiss and Shannon Reed, who were graduate students in Western's (LAS) program. They put together the blood donation drive as a final class project. This year, they are continuing the tradition they started as students.

"Since 1970, January has been recognized as National Blood Donor Month," noted Reed. "According to the American Association of Blood Banks, approximately 39,000 units of blood are required daily in hospitals and clinics to help treat patients in need of blood. Many people do not realize the impact or need of a blood transfusion until one is needed for himself or herself or for someone they love. This blood drive will help us pay it forward to those in need, as well as will enable others to help provide the life-saving gift of blood."

Steil Weiss added that the winter season is a critical one for blood donations.

"We hope the event will make it a bit easier for individuals to donate blood during this time and will encourage those who are eligible to donate to do so," she said.

The Second Annual Pay It Forward Blood Drive is open to the public, and individuals can walk in or make an appointment to donate blood.

For more information and/or to make an appointment, contact Steil Weiss at or Shannon Reed at Individuals in need of an accommodation to participate in the Jan. 30 blood drive, can also contact Steil Weiss.

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