Tar Heels will soon have an opportunity to change or save a life and address a constant need.
The 35th annual Carolina Blood Drive returns to campus Wednesday, May 3, at the Dean E. Smith Center from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. The Employee Forum invites faculty, staff and students to participate in the American Red Cross’ largest single-day drive in the Carolinas.
Free parking will be available at the Smith Center, and you can also take the bus for free with Chapel Hill Transit’s U and RU routes.
Unlike past blood drives held in June, this year’s event takes place before the spring semester’s end, on a reading day, giving more students and campus members a chance to be involved. Students are invited to take a study break and enjoy free food after donating. For Carolina employees, donating blood or volunteering is considered work time with supervisor permission.
Since its start in 1989, the Carolina Blood Drive has potentially impacted more than 110,000 lives through blood donations. At last year’s drive, 515 donors and 93 volunteers helped collect 510 lifesaving pints of blood. Play your part by signing up to donate blood or volunteer.
Arlene Medder, an administrative support associate in Auxiliary Services and long-time blood drive participant, has done both over the years.
“I have been donating blood since I was 18,” said Medder, who first participated in the Carolina Blood Drive in 2004 and has donated 89 units of blood at the event since then. “Donating at the blood drive is a way to come together with community to donate. Of course, I also donate between drives.”
Even in years when she didn’t donate blood, she found a way to help as a volunteer and is now part of the blood drive planning committee.
“There have been times I messed up my timing or I had medical reasons, and I couldn’t donate,” Medder said. “However, I can always volunteer my time. My mother was an emergency department nurse, and when she was no longer able to donate, she volunteered at drives.”
If you’re interested in donating blood at this year’s event, schedule an appointment by calling 800-RED CROSS (800-733-2767), visiting RedCrossBlood.org or using the Blood Donor app and entering sponsor code “UNC.” Walk-ins will be accepted the day of the drive, but appointments are encouraged.
Those interested in volunteering can select a timeslot and sign up online. Feeling especially determined to help? You may volunteer and donate blood, although it is recommended that you donate after your volunteer shift to allow plenty of time for rest and recovery.
Anyone who donates blood will receive a commemorative Carolina Blood Drive T-shirt and free food.
WHAT: 35th annual Carolina Blood Drive
WHEN: Wednesday, May 3, from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
WHERE: Dean E. Smith Center. Free parking will be available in the Manning (S11), Smith (S11) and Bowles (S11) lots. You can also take the bus for free with Chapel Hill Transit’s U and RU routes.
HOW: To donate blood, schedule an appointment by calling 800-RED CROSS (800-733-2767), visit RedCrossBlood.org or use the Blood Donor app and enter sponsor code “UNC.” If you’re interested in serving as a volunteer, sign up online.