Chester, PA — Philadelphia Union and the American Red Cross joined forces for the second consecutive year to host a blood drive on September 24 at PPL Park. After a successful inaugural blood drive produced 388 productive units of blood (enough to save up to 1,164 lives), the 2011 edition eclipsed the previous total, generating 446 productive units (enough to save up to 1,338 lives).
Each productive unit can be used to save up to three lives, as each unit breaks down into three different parts: red blood cells, platelets and plasma. The amount of blood collected over the last two years at PPL Park will save up to 2,502 lives.
Less than two weeks after the American Red Cross — the country’s leading provider of lifesaving blood and blood products — issued a statement saying they already had canceled more than 60 blood drives along the East Coast due to Hurricane Irene, Union fans stepped up to help fill the shortfall.
“This event continues to amaze me," said American Red Cross regional communications manager Anthony Tornetta. "Philadelphia Union fans showed their true colors by donating over 400 units of blood during the second annual American Red Cross blood drive."
All donors received a commemorative blood drive scarf, two tickets to a practice session on October 6, a free pound of Dunkin' Donuts coffee, and a raffle ticket for a chance to win two suite ticket vouchers to Union vs. Toronto FC on October 15.
More importantly, for the second straight year, Union fans — including 119 first time donors — were called upon and responded with conviction.
"For that, we at the American Red Cross and hospital patients across our region say thank you," said Tornetta.
Fans who missed the blood drive at PPL Park can still make a difference. To donate blood, visit www.redcrossblood.org to schedule an appointment online or call 1-800-RED-CROSS.
In addition to donating blood, fans can text “Red Cross” to 90999 to make a $10 donation that will be used immediately to help purchase food, water and clothing for those who have been displaced due to Irene.