It’s November, and once again the Wolverines are going head-to-head with the Ohio State Buckeyes. Yet this time it’s off the gridiron. In the two weeks before the football team takes the field, every Wolverine has the chance to shed blood for victory; the annual blood battle – a competition to see which school can donate more blood – is here. Coming off last year’s double defeat – the Wolverines lost both the blood competition and the football game – students have an opportunity to reclaim victory. Wolverines should take the half hour to donate blood, saving lives and Michigan’s honor.
The Blood Battle allows students to actively participate in the century-long rivalry with Ohio State by dedicating less than an hour to giving a pint of blood. The donation sites, run by the Red Cross, are all over campus and very accessible. Participants can donate on a walk-in basis. Prospective donors nervous about the process should take comfort: The Red Cross staffs each of its sites with fully trained nurses and offers juice and cookies as a post-donation treat.
On a national level, the natural disasters of the past few months have taken a heavy toll, depleting the Red Cross’s blood bank reserves. Here in Southeast Michigan, Red Cross blood banks face a recurring shortage. The Michigan-OSU Blood Battle may be the largest blood drive event in the nation, and the Red Cross estimates that each pint of blood donated in the battle could save up to four lives. So with all of the longstanding traditions and rivalries, get out there and donate.