During a month when blood donations are especially scarce, the 2019 49ers4Life blood drive took place Jan. 29 and Jan. 30 in the Student Activity Center.

Multiple UNC Charlotte student organizations and other university units helped to coordinate the blood drive this past week, giving all students, faculty, alumni and community members twice the opportunity to respond to the great need for donations.

“Winter is one of the toughest times for the American Red Cross to collect enough blood to meet patient needs,” said Jillian Butler, Donor Recruitment Manager for the American Red Cross. “When the UNC Charlotte community comes together for this drive, they can help boost the blood supply and ultimately offer hope to sick children, cancer patients and accident victims.”

In previous years, the 49ers4Life blood drive has come close to its goal but never quite hit the mark. Hilda Hiott with the American Red Cross says, “This year, they came close to reaching the goal of 700 pints by collecting 591 pints of blood.”

This donation will make a big difference during a time when blood products are being distributed to hospitals faster than donations are coming in, making every bit count.

According to the American Red Cross, one pint of blood can help save up to three lives, which means that university donors could help save more than 2,100 lives by reaching their goal.

Those who came out to show support for the 49ers received an “I Bleed 49ers Green” long-sleeved T-shirt and were entered into drawings for spirit gear from Barnes & Noble at UNC Charlotte and a parking permit for the academic year of 2019. Presenting donors were also provided with free food from several area restaurants.

“Every two seconds, someone in the United States needs blood. It is essential for surgeries, cancer treatment, chronic illnesses and traumatic injuries,” said Maya Franklin with the American Red Cross. “Whether a patient receives whole blood, red cells, platelets or plasma, this lifesaving care starts with one person making a generous donation.”

The American Red Cross encourages the Charlotte community and people around the world to roll up their sleeves and bleed green. The process only takes about one hour to give the gift of life.