Give Blood, Help Save Lives at TEP Drives

Tucson Electric Power boosts the life-saving efforts of the American Red Cross by hosting open-to-the-public blood drives at TEP’s downtown Tucson headquarters building.

TEP’s location in the heart of the city makes it a perfect spot for a blood drive. “A lot of businesses are downtown. It’s a convenient location if you work in the area,” said Patricia Durán, who coordinates TEP’s blood drives along with Aricka Vesterdal and Joanna Contreras.

TEP offers a higher level of comfort than typical blood drives, with large screens showing movies and homemade cookies for people after they donate.

Donors can give blood every eight weeks, so TEP spaces its drives to match. Since 2001, TEP drives have collected a total of more than 2,400 units of blood.

During the summer, participation in blood drives drops because winter visitors leave town, vacations and school breaks, so there’s an increased need for donors, said Linda Mazik of the American Red Cross.

“There’s always a need for blood,” Mazik said. “People should know that every time they donate blood, they are helping to save up to three lives each.”

To get out the word, Durán and Vesterdal hang flyers at downtown businesses and the main library and encourage TEP employees to donate along with their family members and friends.

Those who can’t donate blood can volunteer their time at the downtown drive, helping to register people or handing out snacks. Contact Vesterdal at 520-745-3356 or if you’d like to volunteer.

To donate downtown, register ahead of time with the American Red Cross or contact Vesterdal directly. TEP is located at 88 E. Broadway Blvd. at the intersection of Broadway Boulevard and Scott Avenue.

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