Ouachita Baptist University and the American Red Cross will host the fifth annual Battle of the Ravine Blood Drive on Wednesday, Oct. 30, and Thursday, Oct. 31, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the Tiger Den.
The blood drive is open to anyone 17 years or older, including students, faculty, staff and the public. “You must bring a photo ID, and there are some medication and travel restrictions, but we can answer those questions at the drive,” said Randy Stribling, senior donor recruiter for the Red Cross.
“Each day here in Arkansas, we must collect around 550 units of blood to meet the needs of approximately 50 hospitals we service in the state,” said Stribling. “We honestly need as many donors each day that we can get to donate.”
To help encourage these donations, the blood drive will also serve as a competition between OBU and longstanding in-town rival Henderson State University. As the drive takes place prior to the annual Battle of the Ravine football game, the rivals “can compete for bragging rights of which school best supports the needs of others by donating blood,” said Stribling.
“The Battle of the Ravine football game is fun, good-natured competition,” said Tim Harrell, director of campus activities as Ouachita. “The blood drive makes our students aware of the world that’s bigger than them. The drive meets a very real need and is a simple way for our students to be involved and make a difference.”
Over the past four years, the Battle of the Ravine Blood Drive has contributed more than 1,400 pints of blood.
“We can’t thank these colleges, their students and their fans enough for the hard work they’ve done to help the Red Cross meet patient needs,” said Michelle Wright, CEO of the Greater Ozarks-Arkansas Blood Services Region, in an American Red Cross news release. “Nearly 20 percent of all blood donations we receive come from high school and college drives. We rely on them to help save lives.”
While free T-shirts will be given to each participating donor, Stribling said there is an even larger incentive to donating. “Almost everyone will need a blood component in his or her lifetime,” he said. “Each donation can help save up to three lives.”
Because blood has a shelf life of only 42 days, the supply must be constantly replenished. Someone in the U.S. needs blood approximately every two seconds. O negative, A negative and B negative blood are especially in demand.
For more information, contact Randy Stribling at email@example.com.
By Taylor Tomlinson