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Blood Drive Offers Perfect Way to Make a Difference

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Searching for an affordable Valentine’s Day gift that comes directly from the heart? Giving blood may be an unconventional way to show love this Feb. 14, but by becoming a blood donor, you can save lives and make it possible for those in need to be reunited with their loved ones.

The blood drive begins at 8 a.m. on Feb. 14 and continues all day, the last time slot being 2 p.m. Sign-ups are in the amphitheater at plus and lunch this week. Students must be at least sixteen years old and at least 110 pounds to donate, and they must bring an ID and a signed parent consent form to their appointment. CSF helps RHS students partner with BloodSource blood center by hosting two to three blood drives a year in our gym lobby.

For Abby Mangelsdorf, the CSF blood drive coordinator, interest in helping with blood drives came from seeing her brother and cousins help with blood drives themselves.

“When I was younger I heard them talking about it and saw their planning behind it, so I knew I wanted to get involved with it,” she said.  “Because I knew about it and I knew what it was, then I got really interested in it just because it’s a cool thing to do.”

Giving blood may seem like a small act of kindness, but donating blood truly does make a difference. Only three teaspoons of blood can save a baby’s life, and the pint taken during donation can help save as many as three lives. Hospitals rely on a safe and abundant blood supply to help a variety of patients– from victims of car accidents, to mothers going through complicated childbirths, to people struggling with chronic illnesses, many people depend on the generosity of blood donors.

BloodSource supplies blood to nearly 40 hospitals in the area; local demands alone require 700 units of blood. High schools are a valuable resource, as many young people are eligible to donate, but not many do. According to BloodSource, only 38 percent of people in the U.S. are eligible to donate, and less than 10 percent actually do.

“People don’t realize how little of their blood can make such a big difference for other people,” Abby said.  “Just one person can save three people’s lives, which is pretty amazing, if you think about it.”

Before and after giving blood, donors are encouraged to drink plenty of water and eat foods rich in iron. Donation is safe and easy, but it takes a few days to recover. Donors receive snacks and gatorade after donation, along with a free t-shirt and a sticker.

For everyone from those who love Valentine’s Day, to cynics to believe the day to be cliché, giving blood is a creative and rewarding way to show love.


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