MURFREESBORO — MTSU students, faculty, staff, alumni, supporters and neighbors can change more lives in the community if they roll up their sleeves and “Bleed Blue” in a special community blood drive set Oct. 5-7.
Donors can make an appointment online now to give blood between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Oct. 5-7 by typing “MTSU19” into the “Find a Blood Drive” box at http://redcrossblood.org or via the new “American Red Cross Blood” app, available at http://ow.ly/S39Ke.
The blood drive, a friendly competition between longtime football rivals MTSU and Western Kentucky University, is now in its sixth year. MTSU has won four of the competitions and conducted its own successful drive in 2013 when Western wasn’t yet part of Conference USA.
“Our ‘Bleed Blue’ blood drive is a great opportunity for all of us at MTSU to give back, in a very personal way, to the community and the neighbors that support the university every day,” MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee said.
The “Bleed Blue, Beat WKU” blood drive will again be held inside MTSU’s Student Health, Wellness and Recreation Center on Blue Raider Drive. A searchable campus map is available at http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParking2015-16, and all MTSU community donors will have free reserved parking at the Rec Center.
The blood drive winner will be announced Saturday, Oct. 10, in Bowling Green, Kentucky, at WKU’s Smith Stadium during the football game between the Blue Raiders and the Hilltoppers.
MTSU and WKU supporters have donated more than 5,500 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.
The MTSU community’s efforts have provided more than half that total over the last five years.
Because each unit of blood can save up to three lives, MTSU’s donors alone have affected nearly 8,000 lives since 2010. The combined MTSU-WKU totals have helped more than 15,500 people in the region — more than the entire population of Shively, Kentucky, located just southwest of Louisville, or of Dickson, Tennessee, west of Nashville.
This year’s donation goal for MTSU is more than 700 units of blood over the three-day drive, creating the potential to affect another 2,000-plus lives for the better.
Red Cross officials cautioned this year’s “Bleed Blue” donors to cut back or eliminate caffeine and tannins, especially via energy drinks, coffee and tea, for a few days before their appointments. Participants can find other helpful tips to make their blood donations successful at http://ow.ly/AiN07.
Donors who use the new “American Red Cross Blood” app will also be able to schedule appointment reminders, find more blood drives and track their blood donations, organizers said.
Walk-in “Bleed Blue” donors will still be welcome Oct. 5-7, 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-2015 and follow @MTSUNews on Twitter with the hashtag #BleedBlueMTSU.