enn State blood donors take the PSU-MSU Challenge, attempting to out collect their rival, Michigan State University, photo by Toni Lynn Gibson/American Red CrossAn autumn/Thanksgiving annual blood drives pit students from Penn State University against students at their rival school, Michigan State University to see which school can win the "PSU-MSU Challenge" by "out-collecting" the other. Part of the recruitment effort behind the blood drives is for each college to try to collect more blood than their rival but ultimately the goal is to help ensure an adequate blood supply during the holidays…


Does the Penn State-Michigan State rivalry work? You bet. Between the two schools, nearly 3,500 units are collected annually.

It’s a good thing too since every two seconds someone in America needs blood, but only five percent of the eligible U.S. population donates in any given year.

The holiday season, which begins around Halloween and continues through January, typically sees a drop in blood donations as potential donors begin holiday traveling and their schedules quickly fill up with events and celebrations.

Making a donation is quick and easy—taking about an hour—and a single blood donation can help up to three people. To be eligible to donate blood, an individual needs to be at least 17 years old, weigh at least 110 pounds and be in general good health. To learn more about blood donations, visit GiveLife.org.

The Penn State Red Cross Club “PSU-MSU Challenge” is one of four winners in the 2006 American Red Cross National Youth Involvement Month contest.

The Red Cross collects nearly half (45 percent) of the nation’s blood supply, providing more than 14 million blood products to some 3,000 hospitals nationwide.

David Richardson is a member of the American Red Cross National Youth Council and Toni Lynn Gibson is president of the Red Cross Campus Club in affiliation with the Centre Communities Chapter in State Collage, Penn. (Photo Credit: Toni Lynn Gibson/American Red Cross)

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