Published by Kirby Winn on Tuesday, August 15, 2023 in Blog
Back-to-school season means the return of school-based blood drives and some much-needed additional support for our region’s blood supply. During the summer months, the weekly average rate of blood donation can decrease by as much as 20% in comparison with the weekly average during the school year. That’s due in part to the absence of school-based blood drives on the blood center’s calendar during most of June, July, and August.
In late summer, we always look forward to reconnecting with students and returning to the regular school of blood drives held on college and university campuses, and in school gyms and cafeterias. Whether held at an elementary school, junior high, high school, or college / university campus, school-based blood drives provide more than 15,000 donations annually and provide a great opportunity to educate new donors on the importance of supporting our region’s blood supply.
This year, we're giving blood donors the opportunity to help students and teachers meet classroom expenses by donating their gift card voucher to AdoptAClassroom.org. It's a new opportunity through our "Good Giving" donor promotion that lets donors redeem a voucher for an e-gift card or they can choose to pay it forward with a donation. Contributions to our AdoptAClassroom fund will help teachers in our service region buy classroom supplies for the new school year. Learn more at www.bloodcenter.org/teach.
“Student leaders are eager to learn, happy to help, and have a great network of peers to help plan and promote blood drives,” said Jim Watts, Manager, Regional Development and Government Relations. “And we are fortunate to have support from school administrators and college and university leaders who understand the importance of blood drives as a service-learning opportunity.”
ImpactLife recruiters work with student-led blood drive committees on logistics and planning for blood drives, as well as donor recruitment and event management aspects on the day of the blood drive. Through presentations and outreach programs, ImpactLife provides students at the elementary and high school levels the opportunity to learn about blood types, the role of blood components, and the lifesaving importance of blood transfusions in patient care.
ImpactLife education programs
Primary and secondary schools that host blood drives qualify for ImpactLife's Lifesavings grant program. Qualifying blood drives that collect at least 20 donations can apply to receive a grant of $250 (plus one dollar for each donation) that can be used to fund scholarships, make a charitable donation, provide for classroom or curriculum needs, or help defray expenses related to the blood drive.
Apply for a LifeSavings Grant
Students who give blood, recruit donors, and/or organize blood drives qualify to receive the Student Impact Award. Recipients must earn six credits towards the award before high school graduation by donating blood (one credit per donation), recruiting a new or lapsed donor (one credit per donor), volunteering for blood drive planning (one credit per blood drive) or by serving as a Blood Drive Coordinator (six credits per blood drive). At the end of the 2023 school year, ImpactLife recognized 421 High School Student Impact Award winners from 289 high schools from across the blood center’s service region.
Earn a Student Impact Award
The ABO Initiative provides resources to connect and engage college students and university partners on the importance of blood donation. This includes support for Registered Student Organizations on college and university campuses, on-campus blood drives, and internship opportunities.
Join ABO Initiative