Red Cross blood drive
High school students 'saving lives'
Marysville High School student Hunter McCallister wants to be a nurse some day.
This week she got a taste of what it is like to be on the other end of medical care when she decided to give blood at the high school's blood drive.
"Being in the health tech program, I'm going to be learning how to do it and I want to save peoples lives," said McCallister.
Nancy White, family consumer science teacher at MHS, said saving people's lives is just what these kids are doing.
"The Red Cross always puts out an urgent need so the students get it because they can actually help three people with one pint of blood," said White.
White advises the high school's Leo Club, which is sponsored by the Marysville Lion's Club. The Leo Club is a community service organization that hosts three blood drives at the high school throughout the year. Oct. 1 was the first drive this year.
"We always do one in October, the FFA does one in December, we do one in March and another one in May. They like us because we have a large student body and a lot of students who want to give blood, who want to try," said White.
The Red Cross asks for a quota. "I'd say 80 percent of the time we meet the goal," said White.
For this year's first drive the Red Cross asked for 50 units. The Leo Club signed up 75 students.
"Some of them are deferred because they've been out of the country, they have a recent tattoo or piercing, they don't weigh enough or their iron levels are too low. That's why we like to have much more on the schedule because some get deferred," said White.
The Red Cross advises students to eat and drink plenty of water to prepare for the blood donation. McCallister found out the hard way what happens when a donor does not prepare well.
"I passed out in the middle of it. Then they laid me back and I almost threw up. So they had me breathe in a little paper bag so I felt a little better. You're supposed to prepare yourself up to 10 days prior but I only did it one day," said McCallister.
The Red Cross gives $500 scholarships to MHS seniors who have participated in the blood drive.
White is responsible for identifying potential recipients of the scholarships.
"I go through and look for seniors that have either donated their time or donated their blood at all four of our blood drives," said White.
Scholarship money may be one incentive, but McCallister suggests students give it a try for other reasons.
"I recommend it. It's saving lives and it's really not that bad," McCallister paused, "other than my experience," she laughed.