Student blood drive coordinator honored by Red Cross

Donte Mendez

FORT WAYNE — Trine University student Donte Mendez has been selected by the American Red Cross as the winner of a $500 gift card for organizing a blood drive through the 2018 We Challenge U program. 

The We Challenge U program is a friendly, nationwide competition that encourages college and university students to boost the blood supply and help save lives during the winter months.

Winter can often be a challenging time for the Red Cross to collect blood and platelet donations. Inclement weather and seasonal illnesses like the flu can have an impact on collection efforts. On Jan. 25, Mendez coordinated a Red Cross blood drive that collected 74 pints of blood to help patients in need. He was selected as the winner of a $500 gift card as a reward for meeting and exceeding the blood drive’s collection goal.

A sophomore at Trine University, Mendez plans to pursue a master’s degree in criminal justice after he graduates in 2020. Being the philanthropy chair of the Delta Chi Fraternity Tri-State Chapter, he was excited to participate in this community service event.

“This is a way you can help save someone else’s loved ones, and it is not difficult to host a blood drive,” said Mendez. “A small amount of effort and planning can have a big impact on so many lives.”

For Mendez, giving blood is a family tradition. “My father donates often, and it inspires me to become more involved with the Red Cross to help others in need,” said Mendez. “There is no better feeling than knowing you helped save lives.”

The We Challenge U program ran from Jan. 1 through Feb. 28. For more information, visit RedCrossBlood.org/WeChallengeU.

Photo: Donte Mendez, left, receives his award from Marla Miller, Red Cross Donor Recruitment Manager.