American Red Cross officials are asking the MTSU community to share the love — and their True Blue blood — with Middle Tennessee neighbors Monday, Feb. 7, during the 2022 “Circulate the Love” valentine blood drive.
The event, sponsored by the MTSU Red Cross Club student organization, is set from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 7 in Room 324 inside the Keathley University Center, located at 1524 Military Memorial Drive in the center of campus.
An MTSU parking map is available at https://bit.ly/MTSUParking. Off-campus donors can get a one-day permit at https://mtsu.edu/parking/visit.php or park free in the university’s Rutherford Boulevard Lot and ride the Raider Xpress shuttle to the KUC.
This blood drive is open to MTSU students, faculty, staff, alumni, friends and neighbors from across Middle Tennessee. All donors will receive a $10 e-gift card from Amazon as thanks for their lifesaving help.
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.
The Red Cross recently announced an unprecedented urgent need for blood of all types, saying that supplies nationwide are “dangerously low,” creating the “worst blood shortage in over a decade.”
Officials attribute the shortage to a 10% overall drop in blood donations since the pandemic began in March 2020, noting that illness and staffing limitations have combined with weather-related drive cancellations to limit donors’ ability to give. The blood supply crisis is forcing hospitals to defer some patients’ major surgeries, including organ transplants.
The Red Cross is specifically asking people with type O blood — both O-positive, the most common type, and O-negative, the “universal donor” used in emergency rooms when there’s no time to determine a patient’s blood type — to give.
The organization also urgently needs platelets to help patients with cancer, chronic conditions and traumatic injuries.
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 and nationwide if necessary.
Donors can save time at the MTSU blood drive by completing the required health questionnaire online Feb. 7, 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)