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MC Family Members Can Give a Part of Themselves to Help Save Lives During Campus Blood Drive

Isabella Dart, left, discusses the donation process with Chasity Walker, Mississippi Blood Services donor technician, before giving blood.
Isabella Dart, left, discusses the donation process with Chasity Walker, Mississippi Blood Services donor technician, before giving blood.

What started as an academic bonus for Evie and Isabella Dart became an exceptional way to help give the gift of life.

The identical twin sisters, sophomore pre-nursing majors from Ethel, Louisiana, had never donated blood. When their Anatomy and Physiology professor offered extra points to participate in last fall’s Mississippi Blood Services drive on the Mississippi College campus, they decided to enroll.

“I was a little nervous,” Evie admitted. “I’ve been to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis. I love those kids, and they motivate me to help in any way that I can.

“This is something I can do to help people in need.”

Isabella said the experience couldn’t have been easier – or more convenient.

“It’s a great place to give blood – right here on campus,” she said. “(The MBS staff) did a great job. They let us know what they would do every step of the way.

“They even gave us snacks afterward, which was very nice.”

Members of the MC family are invited to participate in the MBS Blood Drive from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday-Thursday, Jan. 25-26, in the MBS donor coach parked between the B.C. Rogers Student Center and Provine Chapel on the Clinton campus. All donors will receive a $10 Chick-fil-A gift card and an MBS T-shirt.

Tammy Bouchillon, MBS senior marketing representative, said statewide blood donations remain at a premium: available inventories are about 25 percent lower than in the years leading up to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“With more people working and learning remotely during the pandemic, many of our donor groups were unable to host blood drives, and the blood supply dropped drastically,” Bouchillon said.

The good news is that each donation can benefit more than one individual.

“Each blood donation can be separated into two or more components, including but not limited to red blood cells, platelets, and plasma,” she said. “Your one donation could save the lives of up to three people.

“No matter what your blood type, your donation is needed. At times, certain types are more in demand, but we must be prepared with all types available for the next day’s needs, which are always uncertain.”

Every two seconds of every day, someone needs blood, whether women experiencing complications during pregnancy and childbirth, children with severe anemia resulting from malnutrition, victims of accidents, or surgical and cancer patients, to name a few.

Blood cannot be manufactured outside of the body and has a limited shelf life. Therefore, the supply must constantly be replenished by generous blood donors. Every donation provides strength, hope, and courage to patients and their families in local hospitals.

MBS personnel ensure that blood donation is safe and simply by conducting a “mini-physical” before each donation. They check each donor’s temperature, heart rate, blood pressure, and hemoglobin, and ask a series of questions to ensure everyone’s safety.

Valid photo identification is required to donate, and participants must weigh at least 110 pounds. All donors should eat within four hours of their appointment and drink plenty of fluids before and after donating. Donors are encouraged to bring a friend to the donation site and post their donation pictures to their social media sites.

Individuals who donated whole blood during the last MBS blood drive at MC in the fall are eligible to donate again.

Participants are encouraged to make appointments online to avoid overcrowding during donations. Donors without online appointments will be accepted as soon as openings become available, but may be subject to longer wait times.

To shorten the donation time, Bouchillion suggests donors complete a confidential Donor History Questionnaire online on the day of donation – not before. The questionnaire is easily accessible from all mobile devices. To register to donate on Jan. 25, click here; to register to donate on Jan. 26, click here.

“With a scheduled appointment time and online preparation, the donation process is shorter than ever,” Bouchillon said.

Isabella said she would recommend that all MC faculty, staff, and students participate in this month’s blood drive.

“You’re donating a part of you to help someone with their health issues,” she said. “It definitely benefits others.”

MC students can receive community service hours for participating in the drive. For more information, email Shari Barnes at

Individuals interested in donating but unable to attend on Jan. 25-26 can mark their calendars for the next MBS blood drive at MC on March 29-30. For more information or how your organization could host an MBS blood drive, call Bouchillon at 601.573.4181 or email her at