On Jan. 28, UNC Charlotte collaborated with the American Red Cross to host the seventh annual 49ers4Life blood drive.

This year, the Blood Drive collected 768 pints of blood, which is enough to save over 2,000 lives in local hospitals.

The blood drive was held in the Barnhardt Student Activity Center and lasted all day, from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

It took 15 different student groups, the student health organization and 400 volunteers to pull the event together.

With an original goal of raising 1,000 pints of blood, event organizers placed signs and advertisements all around campus to increase participation.

Students donate blood during the seventh annual 49ers4Life Blood Drive. Photo by Maria Saenz.
Students donate blood during the seventh annual 49ers4Life Blood Drive. Photo by Maria Saenz.

Despite the fact that organizers were unable to meet their goal, American Red Cross account manager Laurie Walker is still satisfied with the turnout.

“We had a great blood drive with a ton of student participation. Faculty and staff also really jumped on board this year and many came out to donate. We are so thankful,” said Walker.

All of the donors Jan. 28 received free T-shirts that read “I Bleed 49ers Green” and ice cream. Food was offered to the donors from various restaurants and, in addition, over $2,000 was given out in prizes and giveaways.

Blood donations help save the lives of cancer patients, heart surgery patients, accident victims suffering from serious injuries and pre-mature babies.

According to the American Red Cross, over 41,000 blood donations are needed every day.

However, only 30 percent of the general population is eligible to donate blood and factors such as current health condition, height, weight and where a person traveled are all considered when deciding if a person would make a good donor.

The blood that was collected at the 49ers4Life Blood Drive was stored in iced coolers and transported to a testing facility near the amusement park Carowinds.

There, it went through multiple tests for safety.  The donated blood must remain iced the entire time.  It will eventually be made into packaged blood products and sent to local hospitals.

Senior Communications student at UNC Charlotte Tori Summers, always tries to donate blood when she has the opportunity.

“It’s important to me because I know it saves lives.  It’s such a great opportunity to give back and help someone in need,” said Summers.

To determine if you are eligible to donate blood, potential donors are encouraged to read the guidelines on www.redcrossblood.org.