MURFREESBORO — MTSU and Western Kentucky University and their supporters have helped save thousands of lives since 2010 with a friendly “blood battle” competition, and the rivalry is back for 2014!
MTSU students, staff members, alumni and community supporters can make an appointment today at http://www.redcrossblood.org to donate life-saving blood on campus Sept. 8-10 and once again help MTSU “Bleed Blue, Beat WKU.”
The annual blood-drive competition is resuming for a fourth year now that the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers are in Conference USA alongside the Blue Raiders. The teams meet on the gridiron at 6 p.m. Sept. 13 at MTSU’s Floyd Stadium, where the blood-drive winner will be announced at halftime.
Donors can make an appointment to give blood at MTSU’s Student Health, Wellness and Recreation Center on Blue Raider Drive between noon and 6 p.m. Monday, Sept. 8; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 9; or 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 10.
Supporters should enter “MTSU” in the “Find a Blood Drive” box at the website to quickly schedule an appointment. All MTSU donors will have free reserved parking at the Rec Center and will receive a T-shirt while supplies last.
MTSU won the blood drive competition in 2010 and 2011, while WKU took the win in 2012 and MTSU conducted its own successful drive in 2013.
"This is an incredible opportunity for both universities and their communities to give back at a time when there's such a desperate need for blood," said Diane Turnham, associate athletic director for MTSU and one of the blood-drive planning committee's leaders.
"For the Blue Raiders this year, the drive is especially important, because we have been informed that this summer alone, the Red Cross is short 80,000 units of blood nationwide from previous summers. With road construction surrounding our own Murfreesboro Red Cross headquarters, donations have been down there as well. We need every staff member, student, alumnus and community member to come out to this most important drive."
MTSU and WKU supporters have rolled up their sleeves and donated more than 3,800 units of lifesaving blood since 2010, when the universities started their “blood battle” to help their communities and build up blood supplies for the American Red Cross.
MTSU’s efforts have provided more than half that total — 2,276 units of blood — in the last four years.
Because each unit of blood can save up to three lives, MTSU’s donors alone have affected more than 6,800 lives since 2010. The combined MTSU-WKU totals have helped as many as 11,500 people in the region.
“We have arranged free parking for donors, and you can make your appointment for any of the three days by going to http://www.redcrossblood.org and typing in ‘MTSU,’” Turnham added. “We’ll also need student and staff volunteers from our campus to help with the drive to make sure everyone kind enough to donate is able to get through in a timely manner.”
Turnham is one of a trio of MTSU blood-drive organizers scheduled to appear on WGNS Radio’s “Action Line” program Monday, Aug. 18, to discuss the community's need for blood donors.
The program airs from 8 to 9 a.m. and can be heard live on 1450 AM and 100.5 and 101.9 FM as well as the station's website, http://wgnsradio.com. Listeners can call 615-893-1450 with questions.
Donors also can find some helpful tips to make their blood donations successful at http://ow.ly/AiN07.
Walk-in donors will still be welcome Sept. 8-10 but organizers are encouraging MTSU donors to make appointments now to get the most convenient times and speedier processing on donation day.
For directions to the Rec Center, visit http://www.mtsu.edu/camprec/directions.php. For updates and more information about the blood drive, visit http://www.mtsunews.com/bleed-blue-2014 and follow @MTSUNews on Twitter with the hashtag #BleedBlueMTSU.