The American Red Cross has announced that this winter high school and college students can help save lives and may have the possibility to win a scholarship of up to $2,500. Both of these opportunities can come to fruition when students host an ARC blood drive by registering with the organization between now and November 15th. Drives will take place between December 15th, 2015, and January 15th, 2016.
“Winter is a difficult time to collect enough blood to meet patient needs with inclement weather and seasonal illnesses reducing the number of volunteer donors that come out to give,” said Red Cross Director of Donor Recruitment, Garry Allison. “Our Leaders Save Lives program gives students an opportunity to learn valuable leadership skills and help ensure blood is available for patients in need of lifesaving transfusions by recruiting their friends and family to give blood.”
As much as 20% of blood donations through the Red Cross come from donations at high school, university, and college drives. Six scholarships will be awarded to students who host a blood drive which collects 25 blood donations or more. All students who receive at least 25 pints of blood at their drive will receive a gift card to www.giftcertificates.com.
Leaders Save Lives is an important scholarship opportunity, but when students host a drive they will also be acquiring community service experience and will be working with the largest humanitarian network in the world.
The ARC sponsors the High School Leadership Program which allows students to be recognized for lifesaving community services of blood donation, volunteerism, and blood donor recruitment. The first level of recognition requires students to make three blood or platelet donations. At least one should be made during a “critical timeframe,” meaning the summer months of June, July, and August or over the winter holidays between December 15 and January 15.
Level 2 begins with the completion of the first level and a requirement to volunteer eight hours to the Red Cross. Level three is accomplished through completing Level 1 and Level 2 and recruiting five donors to donate blood or platelets through the Red Cross. The donors must be first-timers or donors who have not donated in at least 3 years.
The scholarship winners are chosen through a random raffle made up of all the people who have qualified. The drawing takes place in early June and winners are notified by telephone or mail. When all levels of the program are fulfilled, the students will be sent a keepsake pin and a Red Cross Red Cord that can be worn during graduation ceremonies with the approval of the school administration.
The American Red Cross Bio-medical Services play an important role in the nation’s health care system. The organization is the single largest supplier of blood and blood products in the US. The ARC collects and processes about 40% of the nation’s blood supply and distributes it to about 2,600 hospitals and transfusion centers across the country.
The organization also plays a part in protecting the safety of donors and patients and in increasing available blood supplies. Providing a source for life-saving blood and blood products to patients is a central component of the Red Cross mission to help people in times of emergency and disasters.