University Blood Initiative Kent State Chapter
The UBI is distinct from other blood-related organizations such as the American Red Cross (ARC), because we focus on using grassroots efforts to engage youth and local communities to become invested blood donors in order to replenish a blood donor pool that is lacking both in numbers and diversity of blood type. Our organization builds lasting and sustainable relationships within communities to allow our blood supply to thrive and save lives, by educating and spreading awareness of the serious blood shortages that our healthcare system is experiencing. Fighting blood shortages is our main goal as an organization, while blood donations are only a portion of the ARC's activities as outlined in the ARC Chapter Constitution: ‘Club will plan and coordinate a minimum of three Red Cross mission-related service projects per year. The service projects will focus on preparedness, blood, and fundraising.’ The ARC does not focus on the blood crisis our country is facing, but rather has a wide array of missions that bring aid to the public. In contrast the UBI's sole focus is to build up and strengthen the blood system in the U.S by building community engagement surrounding local blood donation and furthering our goals through advocacy, education, and programmingWe are the University Blood Initiative. We saw the low youth engagement and the lack of education about our nation's unstable and inequitable blood supply, and we decided to do something about it.