PALMETTO BOWL: USC and Clemson students battle to raise the most life-saving blood donations

COLUMBIA, SC (WOLO) — While Clemson may be favorites on the football field, the University of South Carolina can beat their rivals before the game even begins.

The 38th annual Carolina Clemson Blood Drive hopes to get students at both universities out to give life-saving blood donations. 

“If you have extra time and want a way to give back to the community without spending much time or money, you can donate blood and you’re helping to save lives,” said Saskia Lindsey, American Red Cross communication manager.

Lindsey says the need for blood is high all year, but donations go down around the holiday season.

Blood donations can save people’s lives in a variety of ways. 

“People need blood if they are in a car accident. Cancer patients need blood. Sickle cell patients rely on blood,” Lindsey said. “There’s a large amount of people who rely on blood transfusions and donations when an accident happens. that’s why it’s so important that we keep an ample supply of blood this holiday season.”

To help the blood supply, University of South Carolina students can donate blood through Friday and compete against their rival school from the Upstate.

“People donate because not only will they save lives, but they can beat Clemson,” said Marilena Parker, Carolina Clemson Blood Drive president.

In order to count towards the competition, students can donate at on-campus blood donation centers through Friday.

“The process is super easy. It takes about an hour from start to finish,” Lindsey said. “The process of giving blood only takes about 10 minutes.”

No matter where you are on campus, you are sure to be near a blood donation center. The drive set up several locations in downtown Columbia.

“There’s one by engineering. There’s one by Darla for business. There’s one by the freshman dorms,” Parker said. “We try to spread them out so that no matter where you spend your time, there’s a bus right there.”

The blood drive president says she has seen a large number of students giving blood so far this week.

“The beginning of the week is usually really good. By Wednesday it starts to slow down,” Parker said. “So far, it’s been pretty steady. Usually there’s no one on Friday, but people I’ve been talking to say they are going to donate on Friday because of exams.”

She hopes those students keep their word and USC can pull off an upset victory.

“We haven’t won since 2016 but we are hoping to change that this year,” Parker said. “We are doing really well and if everyone donates, we have a good chance.”

Find out where to donate blood on USC’s campus here.

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