Eighty-eight members of the MTSU community of students, faculty, staff, alumni, neighbors and friends from across Middle Tennessee stepped up Sept. 2 to save lives, support their favorite military divisions and honor Sept. 11 victims at the university’s 2021 “Battle of the Branches” blood drive.
Their dedication resulted in 80 fresh pints of blood to be distributed among patients in the 10 counties served by the American Red Cross Heart of Tennessee chapter: Rutherford, Bedford, Cannon, Coffee, DeKalb, Franklin, Lincoln, Marshall, Moore and Warren counties.
Those donors’ blood and blood products also can be shared with the rest of Tennessee’s 95 counties, people in Arkansas and Mississippi, and nationwide if necessary.
Because each unit of blood can aid as many as three different patients, the MTSU donors are helping more than 225 people in the community.
Gene Baker, senior account manager for donor resources at the American Red Cross Tennessee Region offices in Nashville, had high praise for each of the people who took time to help their neighbors at the MTSU drive.
“An awesome job Thursday!!!” Baker said in an enthusiastic email. “Eighty units collected, (which was) 115% of our goal, potentially helping save 229 lives!!!
“In addition, and most importantly, (we had) 28 FIRST-TIME DONORS!! Incredible!! Our patients owe you a debt of gratitude!!”
You can watch a thank-you video to the community above.
During the Sept. 2 event, co-sponsored by the Charlie and Hazel Daniels Veterans and Military Family Center at MTSU, the MTSU Red Cross Club and the Department of Health and Human Performance, donors could once again “vote” for their favorite branch of the U.S. military — U.S. Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines or Navy — to pay tribute to service members.
The branch with the most donor votes earns “bragging rights” on campus for the next year. This year’s winner will be announced Saturday, Nov. 13, at the MTSU Blue Raiders’ annual “Salute to Veterans and Armed Forces” football game at Floyd Stadium.
The annual “Battle of the Branches” drive is a friendly campus competition to encourage more blood donations and thank active-duty and retired military members for their service.
The 2021 drive also was one of more than 50 statewide first-responder efforts, called “Remember the Badges,” to collect 2,977 pints of blood drive in each state in honor of the lost lives and to continue rebuilding blood supplies decimated by pandemic-canceled drives.
The next MTSU blood drive is set Monday-Wednesday, Nov. 1-3, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the Campus Recreation Center, 1848 Blue Raider Drive.
Organizers are urging donors to make appointments for that three-day drive to help staffers process their blood more quickly.
For more information about donating blood for the American Red Cross, visit http://redcrossblood.org anytime.
— Gina E. Fann (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Be red, white and ‘True Blue’: Donate blood Sept. 2 at MTSU ‘Battle of the Branches’
(published Aug. 10, 2021)
MTSU will mark Sept. 11 by helping save lives in a red, white and “True Blue’” fashion again this year, encouraging both the campus and community to join the annual “Battle of the Branches” blood drive set for Thursday, Sept. 2.
The blood drive, co-sponsored by the Charlie and Hazel Daniels Veterans and Military Family Center at MTSU, the MTSU Red Cross Club and the Department of Health and Human Performance, is set from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 2 in Room 322 of the Keathley University Center, located at 1524 Military Memorial Drive in the central section of campus.
This year’s blood drive, which salutes the 2,977 lives lost in the day of terrorist attacks on America as well as the first responders who rushed to help, marks both the 20th anniversary of that event and the 110th anniversary of MTSU’s Sept. 11 founding.
A campus parking map is available here. Off-campus donors can obtain a one-day permit at www.mtsu.edu/parking/visit.php, park in the university’s Rutherford Boulevard Lot, and ride the Raider Xpress shuttle to its stop near the KUC.
The “Battle of the Branches” is a friendly campus competition to encourage more blood donations and thank active-duty and retired military members for their service.
This year’s drive also is one of more than 50 statewide first-responder efforts, called “Remember the Badges,” to collect 2,977 pints of blood drive in each state in honor of the lost lives and to continue rebuilding blood supplies decimated by pandemic-canceled drives.
Each donor can vote for a U.S. military branch — Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines or Coast Guard — during their visit. The branch with the largest number of donors will have bragging rights until next year’s blood drive.
The winning branch also will be recognized at MTSU’s Nov. 13 “Salute to Veterans and Armed Forces” football game.
MTSU’s blood drive is open to students, faculty, staff, alumni, friends and neighbors across Middle Tennessee. Each donor will receive a free T-shirt onsite and a coupon via email for a free haircut from SportClips.
The Red Cross is again requiring all blood donors to wear masks while giving blood. Red Cross staffers also wear masks to protect donors, volunteers, co-workers and guests.
Blood supplies remain critically low nationwide because of drives canceled by both coronavirus and inclement weather. Some Red Cross chapters have less than a day’s worth of blood available for their area hospitals.
— Gina E. Fann (email@example.com)