Homecoming Blood Drive a hit

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Tommy Culkin

Appalachian State University held its ninth annual Homecoming Blood Drive Wednesday, at Holmes Convocation Center.

The event collected 1,315 pints of blood, surpassing the goal of 1,250. The total was just shy of surpassing the national record of 1,317 pints collected in a single day, also held by Appalachian State’s Homecoming Blood Drive.

According to Thomas Evans, the event’s director, the blood collected can help as many as 3,945 people in need.

“Today’s been a great day,” Evans said. “You can’t argue with the great weather, turnout has been wonderful, and Mountaineers are coming out in droves.”

According to Evans, the event’s success is the result of many dedicated volunteers. Over 400 students worked as volunteers throughout the day.

William Post, a graduate student at Appalachian State who volunteered, said volunteering was a rewarding experience and he urged others to participate.

“This has been an amazing experience,” Post said. “I love working with the students, and the excitement in the atmosphere, and it’s just such a phenomenal cause. The more people who volunteer, the better.”

The event is a partnership between Appalachian State and the American Red Cross. According to Chris Newman, the donor recruitment district manager for North Carolina, the Red Cross shuts down most of its collections in North Carolina for the day to help with the event. Newman said that approximately 250 Red Cross employees worked at the event.

The Red Cross employees were responsible for conducting background checks on the donors and drawing the blood.

“We have Red Cross staff from all over the state who come in to help work this event for the day,” Newman said.

Newman said the Red Cross gives so much support to Appalachian State’s Homecoming Blood Drive because of the tradition behind the event.

“This is just like a well-oiled machine, everybody working together,” Newman said. “Everything’s been going very smooth.”

According to Evans, donating blood is very important because of how necessary it is.

“It’s incredibly important that people choose to give blood because blood can’t be made or generated by any form that we possess currently,” Evans said. “Blood can only be donated by people who are willing to give of themselves. The Red Cross has a statistic that is, for every one person who gives blood, three lives can be saved.”

Post says that the blood drive’s success is indicative of a strong student body.

“I think this just shows that we really have a great sense of community here,” Post said. “All the students are very passionate about this cause, and they all want to do as much as they can.”

 

Story by: Tommy Culkin

Photos by: Krista Gilbert