This Valentine’s Day season, Alpha Phi Omega, a co-ed service fraternity, is helping students give a gift that’s truly from the heart.
APO is holding a “Face-Off Blood Challenge” between the University and Michigan State University from Jan. 19 to Feb. 27 as one of several blood battles the organization holds each year. The challenge pits the two schools against each other to see which one can donate more pints of blood.
Although University organizations have regularly held blood battles with MSU in the past, the tradition fizzled out and was replaced with the Big Ten Blood Challenge. But when coordinating between all of the Big Ten schools became confusing, APO decided to reinstate the Michigan-MSU battle.
LSA sophomore Mary Rock, one of APO’s Blood Battle chairs who organized the event, said she hoped the rivalry would help encourage students to contribute.
“We can take advantage of the competitive atmosphere to do something really positive,” Rock said.
The other Blood Battle chairs include LSA senior Brian Talpos, and LSA juniors Laura Yocky and LSA junior Katy Wallander.
APO coordinated with MSU’s chapter of the American Red Cross club in order to carry out the blood battle. The Red Cross site representatives from the areas around each school have been maintaining the “score” between the two universities.
APO members said they hope to exceed their goal of 1700 pints of blood.
Talpos said he thinks donating blood is one of the most charitable things a person can do.
“It seems to me so simple,” he said. “There is no reason people should be dying for lack of blood. It’s a way we can help someone out without having to receive anything in return.”
Talpos also stressed the importance of donating blood despite the snow and cold.
“In the cold winter months, we get a lot less people because people are less likely to leave their houses to donate,” he said. “We could really use a lot more people showing up because there is always a blood shortage.”
For a full list of places, dates and times to donate blood for the Face Off, go to www.givelife.org and use the sponsor code “goblue.”