Two Texas A&M University Memorial Student Center organizations will offer Aggies an innovative way to begin the spring semester – donating blood or a book to the Half Blood Prints Drive scheduled for Jan. 22.
Organized by MSC Hospitality and MSC Freshmen In Service and Hosting (FISH), the event will feature a blood drive that will be collected by the Blood Center Brazos Valley, an affiliate of Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center, and the books will be given to local kindergartners during MSC Hospitality’s Kindergarten Book Tour.
The Half Blood Prints Drive – a pun on a character in the popular Harry Potter book and movie series — is planned from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Jan. 22 in two locations: Lot 72 near the Wehner Building and West Campus Library and at the Memorial Student Center.
All donors will be eligible to win an iPod shuffle, provided by Chase Bank’s MSC facility.
Rahul Dhuka, one of the lead organizers of the blood and book drive, said the idea for the blood drive was partially inspired by Hurricane Sandy.
“My sister was actually there, and one of the things I saw was that they really needed blood,” he explained “A lot of the blood drives there had to be cancelled (due to the hurricane), so a blood drive, just seemed like something we could do.”
It turns out that two other MSC members in MSC FISH, a freshman leadership organization, and MSC Hospitality, had been thinking along the same lines. The two groups found a collaborator in Carter BloodCare and plans for the group’s first blood drive were set in motion.
The other part of the drive, the book drive, is a new component to a program that has had a long run as an MSC program, the Kindergarten Book Tour.
During one day each spring MSC Hospitality members fan out to several Bryan kindergartens where they read stories to the kids and deliver goodie bags of books, school supplies and literacy information to help parents develop a better understanding of the positive impacts of reading to children.
This year, Dhuka said he wants to be able to deliver a “goodie bag” with multiple books in it to each child on the tour. “We received a Barbara Bush Literacy Grant that will help us buy some books, but we’d like to make the event as big as possible,” he said. “We’ll collect as many donated books as we can, then we’ll buy as many more books as we need.”
Anyone wishing to donate a new or gently used book appropriate for a kindergartener can bring the donations to either of the blood drive locations.
MSC Hospitality and MSC FISH are part of the Memorial Student Center student programs office. Both organizations are student-managed programming committees whose mission is to enhance the educational and social environment at Texas A&M University and to provide students with leadership experience.