It's not every day students can help save a life, but during Homecoming Week, it might not be as hard as some think.

The 2016 Homecoming Blood Drive and Bone Marrow Match, hosted by the Alumni Association and Indiana Blood Center, will take place in Pruis Hall on Wednesday, Oct. 19 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Students are encouraged to donate what they can, even if they've never tried before.

"A lot of people are afraid of pain or seeing their own blood, but there's a lot we can do to help alleviate those fears," said Kristin Smith, a volunteer with the blood drive. "It's really painless and effortless, and it goes so far and helps so many people."

Homecoming Blood Drive

Wednesday, Oct. 19 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Pruis Hall

The Indiana Blood Center needs 620 recruits a day to meet patients' needs across Indiana, according to their website. The organization supplies blood for over 60 hospitals, including IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital. Smith said a single blood donor could potentially save the lives of three people with life-threatening illnesses in need of a blood transfusion.

But the drive isn't just looking for blood donors. Students will also have the chance to register for bone marrow donations — an action that could literally make students "the match" for someone in need. 

"Over 10,000 people are diagnosed with life-threatening illnesses that could be treated with a bone marrow match each year," Smith said. "We've had some matches [at Ball State] before, and this is a great opportunity to get yourself in the system to potentially be someone's match — someone's life saver."

Although the donation drive hopes to attract students and alumni, some students on campus already said they feel called to donate, and plan to do so this week.

“I donate during blood drives to be a hero and save lives," said sophomore biology major Tony Keller. "It’s the right thing to do."

Sophomore pre-dental major Alexander Davis said he also donates blood in hopes of helping others in the community who aren't as fortunate as he is.

“I did it because my dad did it before and he made a pretty avid argument that it’s something I should do, and plus, you get to save three lives every time so I figured 'Why not?'" Davis said. "I’m not using that extra blood. I can reproduce it — so it sounded like a good idea to me."

Students who participate in the blood drive will receive a Hot Box Pizza coupon for free breadsticks and can also receive "pride points" to count toward Homecoming participation for student organizations.