U-of-M, MSU partner to help save lives during “Mitten Matchup”

January 11, 2018

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Since 2003, students, staff and alumni at Michigan State University and the University of Michigan have taken part in the “Face-Off Blood Challenge”, to help meet the needs of patients during the critical winter months. For the second straight year,  both universities have turned the battle into a partnership called the “Mitten Matchup”, in hopes of collecting more than 2,000 pints of blood in January and February.


“Instead of competing to see which university can collect the most blood, the Mitten Matchup is a collaborative effort to help keep the blood supply strong,” said Todd Kulman, external communications manager with the Great Lakes and Southeastern Michigan Blood Services Regions. “Over the past 15 years, nearly 30,000 pints of blood have been collected during the six-week event.”


This Mitten Matchup comes as the Red Cross faces a winter blood shortage. Winter storms this month have forced many blood drives to cancel causing thousands of blood and platelet donations to go uncollected. Blood donations are urgently needed now so patients can continue to receive the lifesaving treatments they need. Right now, blood products are being distributed to hospitals as fast as they are coming in. 


The “Mitten Matchup” runs Jan.15 through Feb. 28 at various sites on the campus of the University of Michigan. Everyone who comes to donate will receive a coupon for Bruegger’s Bagels in Ann Arbor and a commemorative “Mitten Matchup” T-shirt, while supplies last.


How to donate blood

Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org and enter sponsor code: goblue or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.


Blood donors can now save time at their next donation by using RapidPass to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, prior to arriving at the blood drive. To get started and learn more, visit redcrossblood.org/RapidPass and follow the instructions on the site.


About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.