Story and photos by Ryann Kieu / Contributing Writer
The Middle Tennessee State University hosted their first blood drive of the year. Each donor will receive a free COVID-19 antibody test with their donation.
The blood drive was sponsored by The Charlie and Hazel Daniels Veteran and Military Family Center and the MTSU Red Cross Club.
Due to COVID-19 social distancing requirements, the drive was hosted off campus for the first time. Just one-quarter mile from campus, the drive was located at North Boulevard Church of Christ.
The blood drive was open to MTSU students, faculty and other local residents on Sept.10, 2020 from noon to 6 p.m.
The Red Cross has been facing a blood shortage due to the COVID-19 pandemic which has cancelled over 6,000 blood drives and 200,000 donations.
Now the Red Cross is hosting many blood drives assuring donors that they have multiple safety measures in place. The free COVID-19 antibody test is one way they are hoping to increase donations.
“It’s more of a service to get donors to come in, as kind of an incentive, but also for their safety and their knowledge. If you have had it, we want your convalescent plasma for a possible cure for COVID-19,” said American Red Cross Event Coordinator Gene Baker.
The blood drive was an important event not for just the Red Cross, but many student organizations on campus. The Red Cross Club helped host the event and greet donators at the door.
Greek organizations also had the opportunity to assist the drive.
Kahlil Yarborough of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. said, “I’m here to help do anything I can for the Red Cross. I’m not giving blood exactly, but if I can help in any way as far as handing out snacks after they donate, I’ll do that.”
The Red Cross says that every blood donation can save up to three lives. “This drive will probably end up saving over 200 lives,” said Baker.
“The need for blood is constant and only volunteer donors can fulfill that need for patients in our community. Nationwide, someone needs a unit of blood every 2 to 3 seconds and most of us will need blood in our lifetime,” according to the Red Cross.
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