Santa Fe College will be joining with more than 300 colleges and universities across the U.S. hosting a Cesar E. Chavez Blood Drive Challenge. It will be held Wednesday, Feb. 24 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Oak Grove.
LifeSouth Community Blood Centers is hosting the drive that is also supported by Hispanic-Latino Affairs at the University of Florida.
The Chavez Challenge was started in 2009 as a way to raise awareness of the importance of blood donation for Latino and Hispanic students. The Latino/Hispanic demographic is one of the fastest-growing segments of the U.S. population, but it is one of the least represented in blood donations.
“For many people, community blood donation is not part of their culture. It was done only for family members,” said LifeSouth Multicultural Marketing Specialist Laura Vassallo. “I grew up in Venezuela and never saw a bloodmobile until I came to the U.S.”
While the focus is on encouraging Hispanic/Latino blood donations, the blood drive is open to all students and faculty on campus. Santa Fe is competing with other schools to have the most blood donations.
In the first year of the Chavez Challenge, 1,265 Hispanic/Latino donors on 42 college campuses participated, including 873 who gave for the first time. By 2015, the event grew to more than 300 colleges that pulled in 3,678 Hispanic/Latino donors and connected with a total of 4,049 first-timers while collecting nearly 10,000 pints of blood.
Donors must be at least 17 years old (or 16 with parental permission), weigh at least 110 pounds and be in good health. A photo ID is also required. Mi Apá Latin Café will provide food for donors and all donors will receive a specially-designed T-shirt. For additional information call LifeSouth at 352-224-1751.