roll up your sleeves cartoon image

Roll Up Your Sleeves Service Day

College of DuPage/COD Cares and Northwestern Medicine


COD Cares "Roll Up Your Sleeves" Blood Drive and Organ Donation Awareness Campaign

The greatest gifts are free. 

Traditionally a day for COD's volunteer corps to complete community service projects that support local nonprofit organizations, Roll Up Your Sleeves is taking on new meaning this year. With a twist on the name, this April, COD Cares and the College's Future Physicians and Research Scientists student club invite you to literally roll up your sleeve and donate blood. In addition, explore other ways to contribute to the medical needs of our neighbors including joining the national organ donation and bone marrow registries. To make life-saving activities as easy as possible, a thorough list of opportunities has been compiled.

With less than a two-day supply of blood available to most hospitals in our community, giving blood is an act of generosity beyond compare. Your donation impacts the lives of people experiencing medical emergencies, can assist premature babies just beginning life, or sustain patients who need consistent transfusions to survive.

COD Cares and Versiti Blood Centers of Illinois have teamed up to offer multiple convenient opportunities to donate throughout College of DuPage's service district.

[schedule announced soon]

  • To register, click on the drive of your choice. Appointments are preferred; walk-ins are welcome. Photo identification is required. Learn more about COVID-19 guidelines on the Versiti website.
  • Donate blood at any of the official Roll Up Your Sleeves drives and receive a $10 e-gift card (emailed within 48 hours of donation) to use at select merchants for online purchases.

Preparing for Donation

Build up those red blood cells with good nutrition and a dose of iron. Stay hydrated and boost your vitamin C intake.

  • Eat: spinach or other dark green leafy vegetables, fruit, meat, fish and eggs
  • Drink: plenty of water and fresh fruit juices
  • Avoid: coffee, tea, chocolate and fatty foods (they get in the way of iron-absorption)

COVID Precautions 

  • Masks are required at all times and all donors must complete a health screening.
  • All donated units are tested for COVID-19 antibodies.
  • Individuals who have received the COVID-19 vaccination are eligible to donate blood after a 30-day waiting period.
  • Learn more about COVID-19 guidelines on the Versiti website.

The effects of the pandemic are widespread and immeasurable. One thing remains certain, the medical needs of our neighbors have increased dramatically since the onset of the pandemic. The following registries have been busy connecting critically ill patients with generous donors.

COD Cares is encouraging people to visit these online registries and sign up as abilities allow.

Save lives through cellular therapy.

Bone Marrow Registry:

Step 1: Five-minute online registration
Step 2: Swab kit mailed to your home. Simply swab and return.

Help shape the future of medicine.

Whole Body Donation:

Step 1: One-minute online registration

  • Did you know body donation reduces the need for animal subjects in medical research? Learn more.

Improve the quality of others' lives.

Organ and Tissue Donation: 

Step 1: One-minute online registration with driver's license or state identification card

  • Organ transplants in the Chicago area are at a virtual standstill due to COVID-19. Hoping to find a kidney donor, Cubs fan Bridgett Kolls of Lombard went very public with her quest when she took a handmade poster to a baseball game.

Recently recovered from COVID-19? 

Become a convalescent plasma donor: American Red Cross 

Step 1: One-minute online registration

  • COVID-19 survivor is doing all he can to spread the word about this opportunity to help others. Read Steve's story of resilience.

Restore sight and hope.

Eye Bank Registry: Eye Bank Association of America 

Step 1: One-minute online registration


"To Save and Heal: Our Natural Hidden Powers"
Thursday, April 13
Live webinar with local experts
(Registration opens soon.)

  • One registered organ, eye and tissue donor can save and heal more than 75 lives.
  • Every two seconds, someone needs blood in the United States.

These sobering statistics highlight the need to unleash the natural hidden powers within all humans to save and heal others.

Join the conversation with College of DuPage faculty experts, Dillys Gallyot, Interim Dean of Health Sciences and Coronavirus Task Force Chair, and Mitzi Thomas, Assistant Professor in the Ophthalmic Technician program. Go behind the scenes of a blood bank with Dr. Christina Barriteau, Northwestern's Medicine Attending Physician of Hematology, Oncology, Neuro-Oncology & Stem Cell Transplantation.

Additionally, COD alumna Katie Adduci will discuss the living donor experience and give an update on her son and COD Cares' friend, Max Adduci, who, after receiving his mom's kidney as an infant, has incurred several blood transfusions in his young life. Watch Max's video from a previous COD Cares blood drive.


College of DuPage student club officers who donate blood and/or schedule at least one donation appointment for a friend will receive recognition as a Leader for Life. Participation in this professional development program through Versiti earns volunteer hours and a letter of recognition. Contact the Future Physicians and Research Scientists Club at with questions.

Click here for photos of the previous service day event.

Click here to see a video of the previous service day event.

Contact Information

COD Cares

Ami Chambers 
Community Relations Coordinator
(630) 942-3823