The American Red Cross and the Rutherford County Alumni Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity will partner to host a community blood drive on Monday, Jan. 18. The drive will take place in the gymnasium at Patterson Park Community Center located at 521 Mercury Blvd. in Murfreesboro.
Due to COVID restrictions, the blood drive will be appointment only. Individuals can schedule an appointment to give blood by either visiting RedCrossBlood.org, using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, calling 1-800-RED-CROSS or activating the Blood Scheduling Skill for Amazon Alexa. The sponsor code is “FirstOfAll”
The blood drive has become an annual event that Alpha Phi Alpha hosts to commemorate the life of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, a 1952 initiate of Alpha Phi Alpha. Dr. King remained an active member of the fraternity until his assassination in 1968.
“Dr. King remains an inspiration to each and every member of our chapter,” said Alton Daniels, Community Service Chair for the Rutherford County Alpha Phi Alpha chapter. “The annual blood drive is our way of honoring Dr. King’s legacy of service by helping a worthwhile organization like the American Red Cross to replenish its blood supply and save lives.”
January is also National Blood Donor Month. There is an increase in both seasonal illnesses and inclement weather during winter months. As a result, donations of blood and platelets decline but demand increases. Additionally, as COVID-19 cases have risen across the U.S., so has the need for convalescent plasma – leading to a shortage of this potentially lifesaving blood product.
During this critical time, the Red Cross partnered with the National Football League to offer all those who come to donate an opportunity to receive a special thank you this month. Those who come to donate blood or platelets at Patterson Park Community Center on MLK Day will be automatically entered to win two tickets to next year’s Super Bowl LVI in Los Angeles.* In addition, those donors will also be automatically entered to win the Big Game at Home package for an awesome viewing experience safely at home, with a 65-inch television and a $500 gift card to put toward food and fun.**
Blood donation safety precautions
To protect the health and safety of Red Cross staff and donors, individuals who do not feel well or who believe they may be ill with COVID-19 should postpone their donation. Each Red Cross blood drive and donation center follows the highest standards of safety and infection control, and additional precautions – including temperature checks, social distancing and face coverings for donors and staff – have been implemented to help protect the health of all those in attendance. Donors are asked to schedule an appointment prior to arriving at the drive and are required to wear a face covering or mask while at the drive, in alignment with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention public guidance.
About blood donation
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 in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), 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.