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Clemson University Wins Week-long Blood Donation Competition

Clemson University Wins Week-long Blood Donation Competition

CLEMSON, S.C. – For the 17th time, Clemson University has won the annual Blood Bowl, one of the largest collegiate blood drives in the nation with the help of community blood center, The Blood Connection (TBC). Ahead of the rivalry football game for the past 35 years, Clemson University and The University of South Carolina (USC) have battled it out to see which school can bring in the most blood donors. This year, Clemson collected 2,441 units in total, while USC collected 2,108, meaning Clemson won by slightly more than 300 units for the second year in a row.

TBC provided seven locations for blood donors to give all over campus from November 18-22. Those blood drives combined saw around 300 donors per day, for a grand total of more than 1,600 donors throughout the week. Because TBC is the exclusive blood supplier for every Upstate South Carolina hospital, those donations have helped up to 4,800 patients in local hospitals, including AnMed Health, Clemson’s area hospital. Donors on campus supplied around 40 percent of the blood supply for TBC during that week, which also ensured enough life-saving blood products for local hospital patients through the Thanksgiving holiday.

Blood Bowl represents a more than 25-year long partnership between TBC and students in Clemson’s Alpha Phi Omega (APO), a national service fraternity that is the university’s second oldest student organization. The organization chooses to host Blood Bowl the week before Thanksgiving because of the blood center’s need for donations at that time. TBC typically sees a dip in donations during holiday seasons and winter months. The collaboration between TBC and APO every year emphasizes the critical need for consistent community involvement to support the local blood supply. Because blood products have a short shelf life, TBC encourages the community to continue to donate in the next few months to maintain a steady blood supply for local hospital patients who count on those donations.

USC has won the annual Blood Bowl 18 times with Clemson now following close behind with 17 wins. USC has a larger student body, so the playing field is leveled by competing based on the total number of units collected when the football game is played in Columbia, and on percentage of students donating blood when the game is at Clemson.

TBC Joins Jordan’s Journey

TBC Joins Jordan’s Journey

Jordan’s Journey: #jj33strong

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – In June, 15-year-old Jordan Freeman was diagnosed with Stage 4 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Because blood transfusions are an important part of her treatments, Jordan’s father, Mark Freeman, has led the charge to host blood drives in the area since Jordan’s diagnosis. Mark is is a Spartanburg County Deputy and well known in the community. The hashtag above has been the symbol of Jordan’s fight against the disease.

As her father explained on Facebook about the diagnosis: “She has been put on a 21 day cycle of treatment, days 1-3 is spent in the hospital receiving Chemo meds through an IV Port she had surgically implanted, on days 4-7 she will be at home taking oral meds, on day 8 she will have to go back to the Hospital for additional meds to be given through her port, on days 9-21 she will be home again taking oral meds, then it will start again for 5 cycles, 3 days in the hospital, home, 1 day at the hospital, 7 days at home, etc…We want to thank everyone for their outpouring of love and support, and appreciate all the support we have already received.”

Through the TBC Donor Benefit Plan, donors who gave blood during the “Jordan’s Journey” blood drives will be giving back to Jordan’s recovery by replenishing the local blood supply. Those blood donations will also help Jordan’s family pay for her treatments. At the latest collective blood drive in Jordan’s honor, the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office, Anderson County Sheriff’s Office, and Fox Carolina teamed up. Those blood drives collected 70 donations, enough to help save the lives of more than 200 people, just like Jordan!

Jordan’s unexpected diagnosis is an example of how blood products need to be available at any time, for any patient. That means community donors must give on a regular basis. When Jordan needed blood products, they were available because donors knew it was worth the time to donate blood. TBC is asking the rest of the community to do the same for Jordan and other hospital patients like her in the Upstate.

Find a blood drive near you today. Click here to learn more about the Donor Benefit Plan. To follow along with Jordan Journey, like her Facebook page.

Three Local High Schools Respond to Need for Blood

Three Local High Schools Respond to Need for Blood

GREENVILLE, S.C. – After the tragedies in El Paso and Dayton, The Blood Connection reminded the community to continuously donate blood to maintain an adequate blood supply in the Upstate. Three local high schools responded immediately to that call by hosting blood drives the week of August 12: Powdersville High School, Wren High School (Anderson County), and Palmetto High School (Anderson County). These schools did exactly what TBC hopes the community will do every day: respond to the need for blood.

“The students of Powdersville High, Wren High, and Palmetto High have banned together to support and remember those who have been affected by the recent shootings in our country,” said TBC President and CEO, Delisa English. “At the same time, they also helped save lives right here in their community. They are a true example of making an immediate impact.”

More than 105 donors gave blood at all three blood drives combined. Those donations will help save more than 300 local lives. TBC is proud to share a community with a group of students and staff who step up for their neighbors. Donating blood is a perfect way to do that any day of the week. When donors give with TBC, it stays local. While trauma is the most obvious reason for blood usage, cancer patients are usually the number one recipients of blood products. Donations are also needed for burn victims, premature infants, surgeries, and those with blood disorders, to name a few. When community members share blood, healing happens, and families remain whole. 

Any school, organization, or business interested in hosting a blood drive can visit the TBC website for more information: thebloodconnection.org. A blood drive can be hosted from almost anywhere with inside equipment and mobile buses. TBC’s life-saving mission starts with a willing blood drive host.

Donors can also visit any TBC center in the Upstate of South Carolina and Asheville in North Carolina: 435 Woodruff Road, Greenville, SC; 341 Old Abbeville Highway, Greenwood, SC; 5116 Calhoun Memorial Hwy, Easley, SC; 1308 Sandifer Boulevard, Seneca, SC; 270 North Grove Medical Park Drive, Spartanburg, SC; 225 Airport Rd, Arden, NC. Centers are open Monday through Friday 7 a.m. to 7 p.m and on the weekends 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

TBC is currently experiencing low donor turnout. As summer vacation comes to an end, it’s important to keep in mind that the need for blood doesn’t take a vacation; it never stops. Donors can help support their community by donating blood today. Blood donors must be healthy, weigh at least 110 pounds, and be 17 years old or 16 with written parental consent. Donors must bring a valid photo ID. Donors can call (864) 255-5000 with any questions.

The Blood Connection and Outback Steakhouse Partner to Save Lives

The Blood Connection and Outback Steakhouse Partner to Save Lives

For the month of August, The Blood Connection (TBC) and Outback Steakhouse are teaming up to encourage blood donation in their shared communities. Outback Steakhouse’s enthusiasm to partner with TBC will allow the blood center to reach new donors and save more lives. This partnership between the local non-profit and nationwide restaurant is one of the first like it; an example of the dedicated collaboration it takes to support the community’s blood supply.

“TBC is very appreciative that Outback has hopped on board with us. To have a popular nationwide brand embrace what we do is monumental to the communities that TBC serves. Outback is helping us spread the word about our life-giving mission, which means we are going to touch the lives of many hospital patients, together,” said TBC President & CEO, Delisa English. “Caring for our communities takes teamwork.”

 The Outback Give Back promotion starts Thursday, August 1 and ends on Thursday, August 29. Donors who give blood at any TBC center on a Thursday will receive an Outback gift card and a free Bloomin’ Onion® coupon. On August 29, in addition to TBC centers, blood mobiles will be at eighteen Outback Steakhouse locations in the Carolinas for a collective blood drive. Participating Outback locations can be found at thebloodconnection.org/outback.

Donors can visit any TBC center in the Upstate of South Carolina, and Raleigh and Asheville in North Carolina: 435 Woodruff Road, Greenville, SC; 341 Old Abbeville Highway, Greenwood, SC; 5116 Calhoun Memorial Hwy, Easley, SC; 1308 Sandifer Boulevard, Seneca, SC; 270 North Grove Medical Park Drive, Spartanburg, SC; 225 Airport Rd, Arden, NC; 5925 Glenwood Avenue, Raleigh, NC. Centers are open Monday through Friday 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. 

When donors give with TBC, it stays local. While trauma is the most obvious reason for blood usage, cancer patients are usually the number one recipients of blood products. Donations are also needed for burn victims, premature infants, surgeries, and those with blood disorders, to name a few. When community members share blood, healing happens, and families remain whole. 

Help TBC during a critical time as summer comes to an end. Blood donors must be healthy, weigh at least 110 pounds, and be 17 years old or 16 with written parental consent. Donors must bring a valid photo ID. Donors can call (864) 255-5000 with any questions.

About Outback Steakhouse®

Outback Steakhouse starts fresh every day to create the flavors that our mates crave. Best known for grilled steaks, the Bloomin’ Onion and a wide variety of chicken and seafood, Outback also offers a wide variety of crisp salads and freshly made soups and sides. New creations and grilled classics, such as Victoria’s Filet Mignon and Perfectly Grilled Salmon, are made from scratch daily using only the highest quality ingredients sourced from around the world. Earn up to 50% off every fourth visit by joining Dine Rewards™ at www.dine-rewards.com. For more information, please visit www.outback.com or http://www.facebook.com/outback.

 

Lyman teen and pageant queen shines as blood drive host and donor

Lyman teen and pageant queen shines as blood drive host and donor

Hailey Greer shines on and off the pageant stage 

Miss River City Teen turns passion for blood donation into platform, donates blood for the first time on her 16th birthday

16-year-old Hailey Greer spent her sweet sixteen at the Blood Connection Donation Center in Spartanburg, giving back to her community. It’s not what you might expect from a high-schooler, but it’s no surprise for those who know Hailey. Some know her as the current Miss River City Teen or former Miss Powdersville. With a few pageant wins under her belt, she’s now in the running to become Miss South Carolina Teen, where a lot more people with get to know her and what she stands for. Hailey is using her contagious smile to spread the word about blood donation, making it her personal platform for Miss South Carolina.

Hailey started hosting drives when she was just a freshman at Byrnes High School. Her mother’s touching story is what drives Hailey to tell others about the life-saving power of blood donation. Her mother lost about half of her blood volume after Hailey was born. Since Hailey knows blood donations saved her mother’s life, she wants to help do that for others in her community. And when she started asking questions to her friends and family, she realized a lot of people around her have needed blood too. Doing her own research about blood transfusions fueled the fire, and she began encouraging her friends to donate at school. 

“Just telling them [students] how much their blood can help somebody is normally what does it for them. And by giving blood, they feel like they have a purpose.”

Hailey has hosted almost 10 blood drives (and counting) with The Blood Connection, starting way before she was old enough to donate blood herself. Hailey donated for the first time with TBC at the Spartanburg Center on her birthday on May 19th, surrounded by her friends and family. She’s now in the club of local lifesavers!

TBC is grateful for Hailey’s selfless dedication to her community and passion to serve as a blood drive host. She is truly an inspiration, juggling her school work, dance team practices, preparation for pageants, and learning how to drive, yet still making time to serve her community. Making connections in the community is what TBC is all about. Hailey is the perfect example of a caring connector, who has not only affected the lives of many local blood recipients but their families too. Soon she’ll be able to add “lifesaver” next to the long list of her titles. TBC wishes Hailey the best of luck at the Miss SC Teen pageant! 

WYFF Channel 4 shared Hailey’s beautiful story as part of its Project CommUNITY series. Check it out!

The Spartanburg Donation Center is located at 270 N Grove Medical Park Dr. It’s open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m on the weekends. Blood donors must be healthy, weigh at least 110 pounds, and be 17 years old or 16 with written parental consent. Photo ID required. To reduce donation time, donors can make an appointment in advance.

Check out the TBC High School Program, which awards students like Hailey who are impacting their communities through blood donation and hosting blood drives.

Spartanburg Churches Host Blood Drives

Spartanburg Churches Host Blood Drives

Spartanburg Churches Host Blood Drives

The “Ecumenical Blood Drive” group is an influential collaboration made up of seven churches in Spartanburg County: Trinity United Methodist Church, St. Paul’s Catholic Church, Mt. Moriah Baptist Church, Episcopal Church of the Advent, Westminster Presbyterian Church, First Presbyterian Church, and St. John’s Lutheran Church. Together, they host blood drives at their churches to support area hospitals. At their most recent blood drive this month, the churches collectively donated almost 200 pints of blood, which has the potential to save almost 600 lives. Over the past year, the group helped save approximately 6,000 lives through its other blood drive donations.

“The joy of knowing that every ounce donated directly impacts the lives of those receiving is a monumental driving force that serves as encouragement for me to influence as many people as possible to donate,” says Beth Cecil, spokesperson for the group.

The drives are held on the same Sunday multiple times a year and are open to members and nonmembers of each church. Cecil likes to think of donating as a form of mission work, a way to inclusively serve the community. “Not everyone can travel globally or make time to volunteer locally during working hours. However, through giving blood, everyone has the opportunity to be involved in outreach mission work. No check has to be written, no time lost from work or time taken away from family…There are no barriers, only the love for one another to work together for our fellow man.”

TBC’s President and CEO, Delisa English, recently presented to current and new members of the group at First Presbyterian Church in Spartanburg, thanking them for their continued efforts.

“The Blood Connection is immensely honored to partner with the Spartanburg Ecumenical Group providing the opportunity for their members to impact lives of those in their community through the gift of a blood donation. This is a unique example of how a collaboration like this can be both successful and impactful,” says English.

The cold, winter months along with the inevitable flu season make the blood supply particularly vulnerable. As donations decline, the need for blood tends to rise. TBC’s mission is to ensure all hospital partners have the blood supplies needed for patients at any given time. On average, it takes more than 500 blood donations per day to maintain an adequate blood supply. English says an unexpected trauma can require 20 pints of blood or more. If there happens to be multiple traumas that require blood, the community supply could be dramatically reduced.

Cancer patients are usually the number one recipients of blood, but blood is also needed for burn victims, premature infants, car accident victims, heart surgery patients and organ transplant patients.

Those patients and future ones rely on groups like the Spartanburg Ecumenical Blood Drive. Their success is proof of a strong love for their community. TBC is so appreciative for the group’s huge impact and hopes other organizations will take the challenge to collaborate too.

Faith-based organizations also have the opportunity to receive grants.