MURFREESBORO — If you’re proud to bleed “True Blue,” get ready to roll up your sleeves Oct. 21-23 and save lives at MTSU’s True Blue Blood Drive.
True Blue supporters across the Midstate can make an appointment now at www.redcrossblood.org to donate in the three-day drive at MTSU’s Student Health, Wellness and Recreation Center. Appointments are open from noon to 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 21, and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 22, and Wednesday, Oct. 23.
The blood drive, now in its fourth year, has traditionally been a competition between MTSU and former Sun Belt Conference rival Western Kentucky University linked to their annual football matchup.
The Blue Raiders aren’t facing the Hilltoppers this fall because of MTSU’s switch to Conference USA, but MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee said the need for blood remains urgent.
“Part of the True Blue spirit is being a giver, and what better way to do so than giving the gift of life by being a blood donor?" McPhee said. "I encourage the Blue Raider community and the wider community to respond like we always have in the past in supporting such a worthy cause."
“The need for blood won’t wait until next year when we play Western again in Conference USA. That need is here every day,” added Chris Massaro, director of MTSU athletics. “We want to see the same people — and more — who’d donate if we were in a competition. It is a competition: to save lives.”
James Lee, president of MTSU’s Student Government Association, a co-sponsor of the True Blue Blood Drive with MTSU Athletics, said the “Bleed Blue” drive has become a community tradition, drawing alumni and community supporters from around the Midstate as well as across campus.
“Around this time of year, people recognize that MTSU has a big blood drive, regardless of any competition, and they get ready to donate,” Lee said. “The people who donate know they’re not just reaching people in Middle Tennessee but all over the world.
“They’re making such a generous donation, something that is literally a part of them, to save lives.”
MTSU donors can visit www.redcrossblood.org, click the blue "Enter a Sponsor Code" box on the left side of the page, then enter "MTSU19" to make an appointment.
The Rec Center is located on Blue Raider Drive on the east side of the MTSU campus. A campus map with parking notes is available at http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParkingMap13-14. Blood donors also will have access to reserved parking at the Rec Center during the drive.
Walk-in donors will be welcome, but organizers are encouraging donors to make appointments early to get convenient times and speedier processing on donation day.
“Some people are afraid of needles, and being a donor myself, I understand that it’s an intense experience,” Lee added, “but it’s also a very rewarding one. They (Red Cross personnel) are great, and people really respect blood donors. I encourage everyone, on- and off-campus, to come out and help.”
For updates and more information about the blood drive, visit www.mtsunews.com/bleed-blue-2013 and follow @MTSUNews on Twitter.