Public Service

Spring Blood Drive inspires public service

Librarian Lynn Eades overcame a fear of needles to support the Carolina Blood Drive, coming May 1.

Woman getting blood taken while laying down inside of the Smith Center.
(Jon Gardiner/UNC-Chapel Hill)

For 36 years, the Carolina Blood Drive has changed the lives of over 120,000 people, thanks to the donations of countless individuals who gave blood in the name of public service.

One of those Tar Heels is Lynn Eades, technology integration librarian for University Libraries. For 17 years, she has not only given blood but has also been heavily involved with the blood drive committee.

Her service will continue at this year’s event, scheduled for 7 a.m.-6 p.m. May 1 at the Dean E. Smith Center.

“I first started helping out with the blood drive when they needed help with stuff for their website,” Eades said. “As it’s gone on, I’ve not only done a lot of the web stuff, I’ve also gotten into the back end of the blood drive and how it works. It’s just learning so much about what they do and why it’s so important.”

Headshot of Lynn Eades against Carolina Blue background.

Lynn Eades has dedicated 17 years of service to the Carolina Blood Drive. (submitted photo)

Eades has also helped promote the blood drive on campus. With her skills in Photoshop and constant communication with the marketing team, Eades has helped illustrate the importance of giving blood to the Tar Heel community.

Ironically, the act of giving blood did not always seem so appealing to her.

“I have an awful fear of needles,” Eades said. “I actually only started giving blood when I began working with UNC because I hated it so much.”

Eades isn’t alone. A fear of needles is one of the most common deterrents for people when it comes to donating blood. Eades says it’s important for potential donors to think about how the impact of giving can outweigh any sense of trepidation.

“You just have to take a step back and think about how you’re helping to save three lives when you give just a single pint,” Eades said. “For as worked up as I can get, it’s just a single pinch, and it does so much good.”

Eades and the committee advocate for the participation of all interested in donating. As the event grows, the team dreams of once again reaching the 2004 peak of more than 1,000 units donated in a single drive.

The Carolina Blood Drive is one of the largest and longest standing blood drives in the Carolinas Region of the American Red Cross, with a total of 40,108 units collected in summer and winter drives since 1989.

To donate or volunteer, visit the Carolina Blood Drive site.