COLUMBIA, Mo. -

The University of Missouri Homecoming Blood Drive -- one of the largest blood drives in the world -- exceeded its goal this year.

The American Red Cross announced it collected 5,730 pints this week, breaking the goal of 5,000 set by student organizers.

“The Red Cross and the hospitals we serve cannot express enough our thanks to the University and the community for their support,” said Scott Caswell, CEO of the Missouri-Illinois Blood Services Region.

In the 28 years of the blood drive at MU, organizers have collected more than 100,000 pints of blood.

The Red Cross says each pint could save up to three lives, meaning more than 17,000 patients could benefit from the donations.