Look at the positive impact these student-athletes are having on their community:
MADISON, Wis. - The Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) hosted a blood drive for UW student-athletes and staff as part of the Big Ten Blood Drive Challenge on Wednesday. In total, SAAC collected 35 units of blood, which could help save up to 105 lives.
SAAC was just one of several student organizations across the Wisconsin campus that hosted blood drives for the conference-wide event.
Lauren Cochlin, president of SAAC and member of the Wisconsin women's soccer team said, "It's a competition between all of the Big Ten schools to see who can collect the most blood. The SAAC Blood Drive was merely a smaller part of the larger UW effort to compete in this drive."
Wednesday's blood drive marked SAAC's first paired effort with the American Red Cross and the Big Ten Blood Drive Challenge.
"In the beginning of the year, we had our meeting to talk about what kind of events we wanted to put on as a group," Cochlin said. "We thought that a blood drive would be a great way to reach out to others. We wanted to put on an event that gave back to the community and to an organization that gives so much to us."
For a student-athlete organization, it was no question that a volunteer opportunity, paired with a competitive twist, would be the perfect community service effort for the group.
"When I emailed the Red Cross, they suggested that we participate in the Big Ten Blood Drive," Cochlin said. "It really fit for us as a student-athlete group to participate in the Big Ten Challenge. We are used to competition and this was a great way for us to participate in one off the field."
In its first year competing in the Challenge, SAAC reached its donation goal and hopes to continue the progress in future years.
"We got our target number of donors this year," Cochlin said. "We had between 30-35 appointments booked and even a few walk-ins. We were really pleased that we were able to reach our target number for the first blood drive."
Among those participants and volunteers were student-athletes from several athletic teams including track, women's soccer, football and women's hockey.
Cochlin hopes that next year SAAC can host a blood drive in each semester to cater to athletes who may not have been able to participate in Wednesday's blood drive because they were actively in season.
"We want to make sure that the opportunity to give blood is afforded to all student athletes and the timing of their athletic season," Cochlin said. "We were really happy with the results of the blood drive this year and we hope that we can get even more student-athletes and staff involved next year."
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