The University of Louisville, in conjunction with the American Red Cross, will host a blood drive July 20 in response to the recent shooting tragedy in Orlando.
The blood drive will be from 1-6 p.m. July 20 in the George J. Howe Red Barn on the Belknap Campus. Interested donors should register in advance and schedule their appointment time at redcrossblood.org and enter sponsor code “UOFLPRIDE.” The blood drive is cosponsored by UofL Campus Housing, The UofL LGBT Center and The Bellamy, an affiliated housing complex.
UofL employees who wish to make blood donations during the work day may use community service leave time.
“The tragedy in Orlando touches us all,” said Julie Weber, director of Campus Housing. “Having a blood drive to support the needs in situations like this is just a small thing we can do to support others. We are happy to have our partners at the Bellamy and the LGBT Center to bring it together.”
According to the Red Cross, all blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients.
“Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood,” said Garry Allison, director of donor recruitment, American Red Cross River Valley Blood Services Region. “Because donated red blood cells only have a shelf life of 42 days, they must be constantly replenished. While it’s our duty to ensure that everyone has access to safe, lifesaving blood when they need it most, we couldn’t do it without the support of generous donors and those who help by encouraging others to give.”
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 (16 with parental consent), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood.
The Red Cross and all blood collectors in the U.S. are required to follow the regulations and guidance issued by the Food and Drug Administration, including blood donation eligibility. This includes the 12-month deferral policy regarding men who have sex with men (MSM).
In response to that policy, The UofL LGBT Center is encouraging allies to make donations in honor of those who are not eligible to donate, said Brian Buford, assistant provost for diversity and director of the LGBT Center. To show how easy it is, Weber and Buford are teaming up the day of blood drive with Weber giving blood as an ally to Buford.
“Tragedies like this hurt all of us, and it’s tempting to live in fear. But there was never any doubt in my mind that the UofL community would respond with love and compassion, and continue to uphold our values around inclusion and respect,” said Brian Buford, assistant provost for diversity and director of the LGBT Center. “I am so proud to be a Cardinal and work alongside others who care deeply.”
Photo provided by Wikimedia.