Red Cross club to host blood drive Oct. 12


Bree Andrews

A student prepares to donate blood. The donating process typically takes around 30-45 minutes.

The Red Cross Club will host a blood drive on Oct. 12 from 9:30 a.m to 3:30 p.m in the small gym. Sign-up applications are available to students and staff through the American Red Cross website. Those who donate will be rewarded with a $5 E-gift card and a free T-shirt.

“Last spring was the first time I was involved with the blood drive at Hebron; before [COVID-19, student council] did it,” Red Cross club sponsor and anatomy teacher Jennifer Bishop said. “A couple of years ago, students approached me to start the Red Cross club, so I gave in because it was the right thing to do. One of the things I wanted to do [after COVID-19] was make sure we were involved in the blood drive.”

Students 16 and younger require permission slips, and all donors are required to provide proof of age and a school ID. Donors should also be prepared to answer questions about their medical history and other questions of personal nature. 

“Last year, we had about 80 kids sign up originally, we ended up with 125 trying to donate,” Bishop said. “It ended up being very successful, but one of the messages [we received from the Red Cross] afterwards was that [some of the donations] were denied because of kids not understanding the weight requirements, [or] because they had low iron.”

In an attempt to avoid repeating last year’s mistakes, Bishops said she has made it a personal mission to help better educate students and staff prior to donating. This plan has included providing teachers with weight requirements and other information that has been presented during advisory. 

“I’ve changed my diet up a little bit, and I’ve been drinking more water,” first time donor and junior Sydney Copeland said. “I’ve tried to lay back on bread and processed [food.]”

The Red Cross recommends that students get at least eight hours of sleep prior to their appointment. A good diet and hydration is important. Before donating, students should try their best to eat healthier meals and drink more water. Lean proteins such as meat, cheese and yogurt are highly recommended, as well as complex carbs like bread, cereal and fruit.

Clubs such as the National Honor Society and Student Council offer volunteer hours for donating. Some teachers, like Bishop, offer extra credit in their class to encourage students to donate. 

“I feel everyone can do a little bit to help out, [and] I think blood donation is one of those things,” Bishop said. “I believe that there’s this scary connotation [around] donating blood. I would like to dispel the myth that it’s gross, hard or time consuming. Whatever is keeping people from doing it, I want to break through that and make it more attainable to them, because [almost] everyone can do it. It’s one of the easiest ways to help other people.”