Students who host blood drives could win Red Cross scholarship

Students who host blood drives could win Red Cross scholarship
October 22
00:00 2015

By Todd Luck

The Chronicle

College and high school students who host blood drives during their winter break could win scholarship money from the America Red Cross.

The Leaders Save Lives program from the American Red Cross is offering the chance to win scholarships for students who hold blood drives between Dec. 15, and Jan. 15, 2016.

The idea behind the program, which recently awarded scholarships to students who did summer blood drives, is to encourage students to hold drives when school is out.

Almost 20 percent of Red Cross blood donations come from high school and college drives. This makes it difficult to get the amount of blood needed during summer and winter breaks when students aren’t in school.

“We kind of call it our bread and butter,” said Red Cross staff member Lynn Wilkes, who coordinates blood drives in Surry and Stokes County. “We couldn’t meet the hospitals’ needs without the high schools and colleges having blood drives.”

The Red Cross, the nation’s largest blood collection organization, is giving away six scholarships, along with gift cards, based on the amount of blood collected at the drive. Those who collect 25 to 59 pints will get a $50 gift card and be entered to win one of four $1,000 scholarships. Those with 60-99 pints get a $100 gift card and will qualify for a chance at a $1,500 scholarship. One hundred or more pints garners a $200 gift card and puts the student in the running for a $2,500 scholarship.

Wilkes said those who host blood drives need to provide a place for the Red Cross to set up and collect blood. Hosts should also recruit people to come and give blood. Drives typically last four- and-half hours and are often held in churches and community centers. She had several students in her area hold blood drives as part of the program during the summer.

One of them was Andrew Cave, a senior at North Surry High School, who held a blood drive at Gentry Middle School in Mount Airy during summer break. He invited friends, got the word out through local media and even contacted previous blood donors to get them to come out. The drive got 35 pints.

Though Cave didn’t win a scholarship, he plans to hold another drive in January. He’s passionate about the Red Cross, where he regularly volunteers. He first gave blood in March of last year and said after talking to the staff at the Red Cross, he discovered how much he could help people through the organization. He said he’s given 18 units of his own blood since he turned 16.

“It’s become something I like to do and something I can do to help the community and people who need it,” said Cave.

Approximately 40 percent of the blood and blood products used in the country come from Red Cross.

Registration is open through Nov. 15 for drives held between Dec. 15, 2015 and Jan. 15, 2016. For more information or to register, visit

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Todd Luck

Todd Luck

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