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Tucson, students donate record 450 pints of blood

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UA alumnus Mo Sherifdeen donates blood at a Southern Arizona Red Cross center, 4601 E. Broadway Blvd., yesterday afternoon with the help of Jarrod Mayne, a psychology and molecular and cellular biology senior and Red Cross employee. The Red Cross is encouraging those who would like to donate to call 1-800-GIVE-LIFE for questions on donor eligibility.

By Maggie Burnett

Wednesday September 12, 2001

Huge crush of people turns out to Red Cross center to aid in attack relief

Approximately 450 students and community members donated blood yesterday at a Tucson Red Cross center in light of the recent terrorist attacks on the United States.

The American Red Cross center, located at 4601 E. Broadway Blvd., typically accepts the donations of no more than 225 people on an average day - half as many as actually donated at the center yesterday.

"We have had an unprecedented turnout," said Richard White, executive director of the Southern Arizona chapter of the American Red Cross. "This is a wonderful display of caring and humanity. Because the disaster is so fresh, people are coming in waves."

The recent push to donate blood in Tucson was created by yesterday's attack on the World Trade Center in New York City and The Pentagon in Washington D.C..

"Eleven hundred (Red Cross) chapters across the country are preparing to move at least 50,000 pints (of blood) to New York today to cover the needs of injured people," White said.

Because each person donated one pint of blood, 450 pints of blood were collected.

"That is an incredible number," White said.

This urgent need for blood was the primary reason most people came out to donate.

"I think it's a great cause. I wanted to do something to give back," said pharmacy junior Masood Baradaran, who got the chance to donate after a four-hour wait. "I've never donated before, and I'll absolutely consider donating in the future."

Due to the rush of donors, the Broadway Red Cross location was forced to start turning away people around 2 p.m., telling them to call and make appointments to donate over the next few days.

Journalism junior Sarah Horton waited for nearly three hours to donate, only to be told to come back later in the week.

"It's gonna be a long time (before I get to donate blood)," she said. "They won't let us in to make an appointment tomorrow. I wanted to wait, but I have three classes back-to-back tonight."

The Southern Arizona Red Cross currently has two Tucson donation centers and two blood mobiles that travel to various locations in the area. White said several other routine blood drives in the area were cancelled in order to concentrate efforts on the national crisis.

"We hope this will send a message for people to get in the habit of donating," he said. "We've got to replenish local supplies before we can donate nationally. This is the time for people to stop making excuses and give the gift of life."

White added that the Red Cross' goal is to max out blood-donating capabilities at centers nationwide.

"The idea is to draw to capacity," he said. "To continue this is going to be a long siege."

But most donors were willing to wait. UA alumnus Mo Sherifdeen said he had been waiting nearly four hours to donate blood along with four members of the public relations consulting firm he works for.

"This is my first time donating," he said. "But it's times like this when we all have to come together, even if it means just donating blood."

Red Cross officials are urging those wanting to donate to attend a special blood drive starting today and running through Saturday at the Tucson Convention Center at 260 S. Church Ave. The drive will run from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. each day, and appointments are not necessary. Those with questions regarding blood donor eligibility should call the American Red Cross at 1-800-GIVE-LIFE.

A bloodmobile will also be on the UA Mall today taking blood donations from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. near the Cactus Garden.

Monetary contributions are also an option for those who are unable to donate blood. Visit the Southern Arizona Red Cross on the Web at for more information.


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