WILMINGTON — One of the Colonial Athletic Association’s most important public service projects gets underway this Thursday (Sept. 29) in the University of North Carolina-Wilmington’s Trask Coliseum. The 15th annual CAA Blood Drive Challenge is open to all students, faculty, staff, and the local community from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
UNCW’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) will team up with the local chapter of the American Red Cross in order to help save lives and make a difference with a healthy competition among the CAA’s 10 schools.
“Every blood donation saves up to three lives,” said Carolinas American Red Cross Donor Recruitment Account Manager Tanya Tilley-Hall. “If blood donors want to track where their unit of blood ends up they can download our free Blood Donor APP by texting BLOODAPP to 90999 or search Red Cross Blood in their app store.”
SAAC hopes to reach its goal of 204 donors by volunteering time to help promote the event on campus. Student-athletes will also be assisting Red Cross personnel during the event.
“This is a way to get all the student-athletes together outside of their individual sports to give back to the community,” said SAAC Coordinator Garrett Knudson. “It is another way to compete because we are going up against all CAA teams.”
CAA schools compete each year to collect the most donors, with the winner receiving recognition and a trophy. Over the past 14 years, the CAA Blood Challenge has led to 43,607 useful units of blood to save 130,821 lives. UNCW ranked fourth in the last year’s drive with 169 donors. Overall, the drive resulted in 1,776 productive units of blood from 1,735 donors on CAA campuses.
“We reached our donor goal a lot faster than imagined. We have been tabling around campus twice a week for two weeks and already have 300 donor appointment spots filled,” said Knudson.
Walk-ins are welcome on the day of the blood drive. Appointments for making a blood donation may be made atwww.redcrossblood.org/make-donation by entering “28403” zip code and the date of the event. Additional information about donating blood can be found at www.redcrossblood.org.