Big turnout expected for homecoming blood drive

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The Appalachian Online

Tommy Culkin

Appalachian State University will hold its ninth annual Homecoming blood drive on Sept. 23.

The adviser of the student committee responsible for the blood drive, Thomas Evans, said the event has always achieved high levels of success.

“We’ve always had phenomenal turnout,” Evans said. “In our very first year, our goal was just a couple hundred pints. And without any tradition behind it or any expectation, we collected over 500 pints.”

Last year, the blood drive collected 1,265 units of blood, which was the most the drive has ever collected.

This year the blood drive’s goal is to collect 1,250 units of blood, although Evans said he actually expects them to surpass last year’s record, due to an increase in advertising.

“We’ve traditionally had such consistent turnout, that we’re really optimistic that we’ll hit our goal,” Evans said.

To participate in the event, you can register online at www.homecoming.appstate.edu, although they will accept walk-ins. However, preference will be given to people who registered.

“Everything we do on that day is to ensure that the people who registered have the most positive experience possible,” Evans said.

Evans said the blood drive only measures turnout based on units of blood rather than the number of participants, because they don’t want to discourage the people who try to participate but can’t.

“People can be turned away because they recently travelled somewhere where there was a temporary ban, or they had low iron, or another reason,  and we don’t want to say that they weren’t a part of the blood drive,” Evans said.

Appalachian State’s Homecoming blood drive is the largest single-day blood drive run by a college or university in the country.

Anne Carpenter, a senior social work major who’s on the blood drive committee, believes this says lots about the culture of Appalachian State.

“The Red Cross has a theory that they call ‘the App factor,’ where they didn’t understand what made our blood drive so successful compared to other universities’, but they finally just decided it was our student body,” Carpenter said. “The population is so focussed on the familial aspect and helping others, and there’s just something inexplicable about Appalachian which is really cool.”

Story by Tommy Culkin, Senior News Reporter