The Event: The National Cesar E. Chavez Blood Drive Challenge honors Cesar E. Chavez’s Legacy as an American civic leader by engaging college students to address four objectives:

      1. Promote health education
      2. Promote health & science careers
      3. Promote civic engagement
      4. Save lives!


The event was founded in 2009 and is expected to reach 300+ colleges/universities nationwide during 2015 engaging more than 30,000 students to donate blood, many for the first time.   In 2012, the National Cesar E. Chavez Blood Drive Challenge was honored as Partner of the Year by the blood services industry association, America’s Blood Centers.  Many blood centers nationwide now participate annually, to include the American Red Cross.

Student Organizers are college student leaders who are responsible for organizing the event.  He/she is responsible for selecting the date, any supporting programming, submitting goals, and outcomes of the blood drive.  The student organizer will enlist the support of a student organization (chapter/club)and partner with their local blood center.  The blood drive should take place during March or April and may be from one to three days; with at least one day having to be on campus.  The goal is to promote self-sacrifice and commitment towards their local community exemplified by registering as blood donors.  Student leaders are encouraged to share the event with all their college campus and off-campus community by growing the event  into a campus wide health service learning campaign.  All student organizations should be encouraged to participate.  In addition to the donor recruitment campaign for blood donation and bone marrow registry, student leaders may grow their event to include bone marrow registry, organ registry, diabetes prevention, breast cancer detection, heart disease education, health & fitness education, HIV/STD prevention, health careers outreach, and a Cesar E. Chavez legacy exhibit.

Only one student per college campus will be selected as the Student Organizer; first come, first serve!

To find out if your college campus is still available, email:


The Challenge & The Scholarships Before the blood drives take place, the students organizers will submit their donor recruitment goals (people to register & blood pints to collect).  After the blood drive, the student organizers will submit their results which will earn them a score and rank in the national competition.  Focus being on how they do based on their own goals, and how many 1st-time donors, and how many Latino/Hispanic donors they recruit.  Details on the scoring system are explained in the student organizer manual found in the Manuals & Forms Page IMPORTANT:  The Prizes and Rewards should not be the reason why neither you nor your student organization should participate in the Chavez Challenge.  We simply provide these incentives and rewards to make the challenge fun and beneficial to students. Your motivation should be helping your community, exercising your leadership and the four learning objectives outlined above.  Do so in the spirit of honoring the legacy of Cesar E. Chavez as an American civic leader.   Getting Started! 

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2014 Facts: Average Blood Drive (Top 20 usually lasting 2-3 days)

  • Average Donors registered per campus: 98
  • Average Blood Pints collected per campus:  79
  • Average Hispanic/Latino participation: 33
  • Average 1st-time donor participation:  34
    • Average CAMPer participation:  26  (only related to CAMP grants)

Student Organizer Tools

$1000 Student Organizer Scholarship 

U.S. Map & List of Participating Colleges


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