MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — MTSU will mark Sept. 11 by helping save lives in a red, white and “True Blue’” fashion again this year, encouraging both the campus and community to join the annual “Battle of the Branches” blood drive set for Thursday, Sept. 2.
The blood drive, co-sponsored by the Charlie and Hazel Daniels Veterans and Military Family Center at MTSU, the MTSU Red Cross Club and the Department of Health and Human Performance, is set from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 2 in Room 322 of the Keathley University Center, located at 1524 Military Memorial Drive in the central section of campus.
This year’s blood drive, which salutes the 2,977 lives lost in the day of terrorist attacks on America as well as the first responders who rushed to help, marks both the 20th anniversary of that event and the 110th anniversary of MTSU’s Sept. 11 founding.
Donors can make an appointment today for Sept. 2 by visiting http://ow.ly/Jszr30lJo9Z or using the Red Cross Blood App, available at http://ow.ly/ogBb30lJqMl, or by texting "BLOODAPP" to 90999. Walk-in donors also are welcome.
A campus parking map is available at https://bit.ly/MTSUParking. Off-campus donors can obtain a one-day permit at https://www.mtsu.edu/parking/visit.php, park in the university’s Rutherford Boulevard Lot, and ride the Raider Xpress shuttle to its stop near the KUC.
The “Battle of the Branches” is a friendly campus competition to encourage more blood donations and thank active-duty and retired military members for their service. This year’s drive also is one of more than 50 statewide first-responder efforts, called “Remember the Badges,” to collect 2,977 pints of blood drive in each state in honor of the lost lives and to continue rebuilding blood supplies decimated by pandemic-canceled drives.
Each donor can vote for a U.S. military branch — Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines or Coast Guard — during their visit. The branch with the largest number of donors will have bragging rights until next year’s blood drive.
The winning branch also will be recognized at MTSU’s Nov. 13 “Salute to Veterans and Armed Forces” football game.
MTSU’s blood drive is open to students, faculty, staff, alumni, friends and neighbors across Middle Tennessee. Each donor will receive a free T-shirt onsite and a coupon via email for a free haircut from SportClips.
The Red Cross is again requiring all blood donors to wear masks while giving blood. Red Cross staffers also wear masks to protect donors, volunteers, co-workers and guests.
Donors who’ve recovered from the coronavirus or have been vaccinated also are needed to provide their antibody-laden plasma to treat patients currently battling the virus.
Blood supplies remain critically low nationwide because of drives canceled by both coronavirus and inclement weather. Some Red Cross chapters have less than a day’s worth of blood available for their area hospitals.