Area college and university students, faculty and alumni can help save lives at American Red Cross We Challenge “U” blood drives

January 9, 2013

PEORIA, Ill. — To help ensure a sufficient blood supply this winter season, 27 area colleges and universities are hosting American Red Cross We Challenge “U” Blood Drives on between Jan. 1 and Feb. 28, 2013. All presenting donors will receive a commemorative We Challenge “U” T-shirt, while supplies last.

Participating schools include:

  • Ashford University
  • Benedictine University
  • Blessing Rieman College of Nursing
  • Bradley University
  • Chicago State University
  • DePaul University
  • Illinois Central College
  • Illinois College
  • Illinois State University
  • John Wood Community College
  • Joliet Junior College
  • Judson University
  • Kankakee Community College
  • Knox College
  • Methodist College
  • Millikin University
  • Northeastern Illinois University
  • Northwestern University
  • Quincy University
  • Robert Morris University
  • Sauk Valley Community College
  • University of Chicago
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • University of Illinois College of Medicine
  • University of St. Francis
  • Vatterott College
  • Western Illinois University

“We thank these schools for accepting the challenge from the Red Cross,” said Shelly Heiden, CEO of the Heart of America Blood Services Region. “Donating blood is an easy way to volunteer and it helps patients in need.”

To make an appointment to donate or for more information, students, faculty, staff and alumni may call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit

College and high school blood drives account for as much as 20 percent of donations given through the Red Cross. The We Challenge “U” program encourages college students to get involved in the community by organizing blood drives and recruiting friends and faculty to give blood during difficult winter months.

Prior to donating blood, donors will register, complete a brief health history screening, and have their blood pressure, pulse rate, temperature and iron level checked. The entire donation process takes about an hour, but the actual blood donation takes about 10 minutes. Refreshments are provided at the end of the donation process.

How to Donate Blood

Simply call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit 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 (16 with parental consent in some states), 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.

About the American Red Cross

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports 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 perform its mission. For more information, please visit or join our blog at