By Stephanie Sansoucy ’16
Appalachian State University’s 9th Annual Homecoming Blood Drive, held Sept. 24, collected 1,322 pints of blood, setting a new record for Appalachian and a new national record for a single-day, university-based blood drive.
The organizing committee of students and staff from ACT (Appalachian and the Community Together) set a goal of 1,250 pints, which was surpassed with the help of at least 1,160 students, faculty and staff who donated blood; 400 volunteers who worked two-and-a-half hour shifts; 45 “super volunteers” who worked five-hour shifts; and 230 Red Cross staff who worked to collect blood.
The number of pints collected surpasses the number of donors thanks to double donors. Double donors are type O, A negative or B negative who donate double the amount of red blood cells. A special machine is used to collect red blood cells but returns the plasma and platelets back, allowing the donor to safely donate two units of blood during one donation.
“This is an example of what can happen when the campus community gets together,” said Thomas Evans, associate director of ACT, the university’s volunteer program. “We had volunteers who showed up in the morning and stayed all day, not because they had to, but because they wanted to.”
The organizing committee started planning the event in April. The nine-student team, joined by Evans, was chaired by Anne Carpenter, a senior social work major.
The record breaking 1,322 pints will potentially save over 3,966 lives, according to ACT.