Texas College plays host to one of the biggest blood drives of the year

Local college students took time out of their class schedules today, to give back, and they did that at one of the biggest blood drives of the year at Texas College.

KLTV 7's Courtney Lane shows us how many students got over their fears and are starting a groundbreaking movement in the community.

For many of these Texas College students, it's their first time giving blood.

"I was nervous cause I seen the needle and she told me how far it was going to go in then I got kind of calmed down," said Danrick McGee, a TC freshman.

But about 200 of them faced those fears today, knowing that their gift will save many lives.

"Just the numbers of how many people I can help a year just by donating a few times. It seemed just nice, I wanted to help. My mom had blood transfusions before so I thought I'd give back," said Kevita Wickware, also a freshman.

"I feel good about giving blood. It might save my life on down the line," said Chantie Richardson, a TC senior.

Organizers say the large turnout of student donors is incredible.

"Especially among the African-American population which is typically under represented in the donor pool. So we're excited because we've got the youth involved and hopefully as they graduate and go into the community they'll spread the word about how important it is to give blood," said Joe Ridley with Carter BloodCare.

"For each pint of blood 3 lives can be saved or touched so if we get 100 pints we're going to save 300 lives here today," said Dianne Martin with Carter BloodCare.

And this is all sponsored by a service sorority called Top Ladies of Distinction.

"We work with teens, senior citizens, community partnership, beautification and just whenever we can be of help. There are quite a few ladies in Tyler," said Lady Darlene Isabel.

And as they proved today, even the smallest of schools and the smallest of gifts, can help hundreds of east Texans in need.

"A lot of people are afraid to give blood and then they find out how simple it is. One young man said 'I've always wanted to help somebody in some way and didn't know how to do it and now I've found a way."

The blood drive is going on until seven tonight, so you still have some time to give. It's at the Willie Lee Glass Center at Texas College. You can also contact and visit Carter BloodCare, as donations are already needed.

Courtney Lane, reporting. clane@kltv.com