TKE hosts blood drive, students save lives


Photo by: Elodi Breg

Information and candy given out at the blood drive.

The American Red Cross partnered with Tau Kappa Epsilon (TKE) to host a blood drive from 12-4:30 p.m. on Oct. 31 in front of the Grille.

The American Red Cross visits FMU to host blood drives at least once a semester, and this semester’s drive turned out 28 donors. According to the Red Cross website, one pint of blood can save up to three lives. The Red Cross mainly focuses on four areas of work in the United States: blood collection, disaster relief, aid to military families and community education and outreach.

The American Red Cross responds to roughly 70,000 disasters across the United States each year. They also assist military members, veterans and their families with community resources. Each year the Red Cross provides more than 40 percent of America’s blood supply through over 4 million donors. Red Cross was founded by Clara Barton and has functioned as a non-profit organization that has assisted communities since 1881.

Matthew Vinson, a senior finance and TKE’s current president, and Le’Darrieus Dunlap, a junior biology major and vice president of TKE, coordinated the blood drive with Casey Rasmussen, a donor recruitment account representative for the American Red Cross in Florence.

“This is a good look for our organization,” Dunlap said. “We pretty much work as a sponsor when we’re out here. We think it’s important to stay active and show support on campus so we can give back to our community and maybe push others to do the same.”

Vinson said he believes this semester’s blood drive was very successful with 28 donations because they usually only have 20-25 donors.

“Nationally, the American Red Cross isn’t one of TKE’s philanthropy events,” Vinson said. “We do it because it impacts our community in a positive way and it gets our name out on campus. I believe they continue to host drives on campus because there’s a lot of foot traffic and we do a good job of recruiting people to donate.”

Kyla Koch, a freshman biology major, made her contribution to the drive and explained why she chose to donate.

“It is important to donate because I know people are in need every day,” Koch said. “I like to help in any way I can.”

To get more information about volunteering locally with the Red Cross and its assistance programs, visit