Red Cross names MATC best college in region

By Bryan Richardson

American Red Cross named Manhattan Area Technical College the Red Cross Blood Services College of the Year for the Central Plains Region. The region covers most of Kansas and a few counties in Northern Oklahoma.

MATC is an accredited, public institution governed by an appointed Board of Directors under the Kansas Board of Regents.

Kristi Ingalls, senior donor recruitment representative who covers Northeast Kansas, wrote the letter of nomination for MATC. It goes as follows:

I am nominating Manhattan Area Technical College for College of the year. The drive at MATC has been one that has somewhat struggled over the years and really seems to be growing and getting more students and faculty involved each semester.

Dan Kirkpatrick, our faculty coordinator for the drive does a fantastic job of getting students involved and really letting the students run the blood drive. This is teaching them ownership and responsibility above what they are already learning at MATC. The Student Government Organization leads the drive and they do a great job of getting the word out around campus and rounding up their friends, classmates and professors to donate blood.

Dan is also constantly trying to find other ways to entice the students to donate. Several of the drives he and members of Student Government have approached local businesses for donations of food and other giveaways to help motivate those who might be a little hesitant to donate to give it a second thought.

Manhattan Area Technical College used to be a drive that we did one time a year in the fall. However, our blood collection goal was raised by quite a bit as a region in 2008 and we were asked to get creative to find new drives and also to expand upon those that were already going. I approached Dan and MATC about doing a spring drive as well and they were more than willing to jump on board & help us out. We now have both a fall and a spring drive at the college which helps out with our blood supply, especially since often times their spring drive is in February when it is hard for us to collect blood due to winter weather and illness.

Fiscal Year 2011 was a very productive year for blood drives at MATC. The combination of their spring and fall drives helped us to collect 80 pints of blood which had the potential to go on to help save the lives of up to 240 hospital patients in need.

Manhattan Area Technical College is one great school with so many supportive students, faculty and administrators!

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