MURFREESBORO, Tenn., Oct. 15, 2021 — The Middle Tennessee State University Blue Raiders are joining forces with the American Red Cross to get more than 300 units of blood collected during their annual fall blood drive on Nov. 1 – Nov. 3 on the campus.
All presenting donors will receive a commemorative “MTSU True Blue” t-shirt, while supplies last. Blood donation appointments will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
“Every year, MTSU students, faculty, and staff along with alumni and community supporters always surpass their goal for blood donation and we expect to see that happen again this year,” said Garry Allison, regional donor services executive for the Red Cross Tennessee Region. “We are so excited for this year’s drive as we celebrate the great gift of donation by three MTSU alumni and extraordinary donors, who combined have donated more than 1,300 units of blood over the years.” The three donors are, Billy Jones, who has donated 404 units; Edward Baker, who has donated 410 units; and Edwin Alexander, who has donated 494 units. **
Billy Jones began donating blood and platelets about 15 years ago after his Mother-in-law was diagnosed with kidney cancer. He and his wife are both very dedicated to giving the gift of blood donation as she has donated 101 units of blood.
Edward Baker, also an MTSU graduate, began donating blood at the Heart of Tennessee Chapter of the Red Cross Donation Center in Murfreesboro. He is a passionate supporter of both blood donation and the MTSU football team and never misses a home game.
Edwin Alexander began donating blood and platelets at 17 years old. His father was a regular blood and platelet donor and passed on the importance of saving lives through blood donation to his son.
This summer blood donor turnout decreased by about 10% while demand for the need for blood remained high at hospitals across the country. Currently, the American Red Cross continues to experience an emergency blood and platelet shortage that has caused the blood supply to drop to the lowest post-summer level since 2015. The Red Cross is encouraging all blood type donors to please schedule appointments to donate blood, but especially those with type O, are highly encouraged and asked to give as that blood type can be given more universally.
Every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood. Accident and burn victims, heart surgery patients, organ transplant patients, and those receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or sickle cell disease may need blood products.
Those with types O, A negative and B negative blood are encouraged to make a Power Red donation. Power Red donors give a concentrated dose of red blood cells during a single donation, allowing them to maximize their impact. During this type of donation, red blood cells are separated from other blood components, and the plasma and platelets are safely and comfortably returned to the donor.
MTSU True Blue Blood Drive
Monday, Nov. 1, Tuesday, Nov. 2 and Wednesday, Nov. 3
10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
MTSU Rec Center
1848 Blue Raider Drive
Murfreesboro, TN 37132
To schedule an appointment, download the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org and enter sponsor code: MTSU or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). Walk-ins welcome
How to donate blood
With less than a day’s supply of certain blood types in recent weeks, the Red Cross asks donors of all blood types – especially type O − to make an appointment to give blood or platelets as soon as possible to ensure patients can receive the lifesaving transfusions they rely on.
Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enable the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.
Blood donors can save time at their next donation by using RapidPass® to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, before arriving at the blood drive. To get started, follow the instructions at RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass or use the Blood Donor App.
About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides comfort to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; distributes international humanitarian aid; and supports veterans, military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to deliver its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.
*Jones, Baker, and Alexander are available for interview. Please contact Regional Communications Director, Sherri McKinney at 615-425-6679 to schedule an interview.