Good-hearted blood donors can “circulate the love” among Middle Tennessee neighbors Monday, Feb. 8, by giving their lifesaving support at MTSU’s valentine blood drive.
The event, sponsored by the MTSU Red Cross Club student organization, is set from noon to 6 p.m. Feb. 8 at North Boulevard Church of Christ, located a quarter-mile north of campus at 1112 N. Rutherford Blvd.
The church is once again opening its gymnasium for an MTSU blood drive because of campus pandemic-related capacity restrictions. North Boulevard’s generosity helped MTSU welcome 273 donors last fall for the university’s annual “Bleed Blue” blood drive.
The Feb. 8 blood drive is open to MTSU students, faculty, staff, alumni, friends and neighbors from across Middle Tennessee.
Each donor will receive a T-shirt and a $5 Amazon e-gift card as thanks for their lifesaving help. The Red Cross also will test each donation for COVID-19 antibodies.
The Red Cross requires 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 weather. Some Red Cross chapters have less than a day’s worth of blood available for their area hospitals.
The Red Cross needs eligible donors of all blood types, and they’re specifically asking people with type O blood — the “universal donor” — to give. The organization also urgently needs platelets to help patients with cancer, chronic conditions and traumatic injuries.
Donors who’ve recovered from the coronavirus also are needed to provide their antibody-laden plasma to treat patients currently battling the virus.
Blood donated at MTSU’s valentine drive can help neighbors in all 10 counties the Red Cross’s Heart of Tennessee Chapter serves: Rutherford, Bedford, Cannon, Coffee, DeKalb, Franklin, Lincoln, Marshall, Moore and Warren counties. Blood products also can be shared with the rest of Tennessee’s 95 counties, people in Arkansas and Mississippi, and nationwide if necessary.
Donors can save time at the MTSU blood drive by completing the required health questionnaire online Feb. 8, before they give blood, with the Red Cross’s “Rapid Pass.”
For more information about donating blood for the American Red Cross, visit http://redcrossblood.org anytime.
— Gina E. Fann (firstname.lastname@example.org)