Published by Kirby Winn on Thursday, September 8, 2022 in News Releases
Back to school season means the return of school blood drives and some much-needed additional support for our region’s blood supply. Since returning to campus and classrooms for the fall semester, students have donated blood in a number of ImpactLife blood drives with high schools, college, and universities, and many more school-related events are scheduled across the blood center’s service region in the weeks ahead.
ImpactLife works with schools and student organizations throughout the school year, collecting more than 17,000 donations at school-related blood drives throughout the year. The loss of school blood drives during the summer months is one of the reasons the rate of blood donations decreases in June, July, and August.
“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, Donor 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 sector programs include:
LifeSavings Grant Program (www.bloodcenter.org/lifesavings)
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.
Student Impact Award (www.bloodcenter.org/award)
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 2022 school year, ImpactLife recognized 271 High School Impact Award winners from 161 high schools from across the blood center’s service region.
College / University ABO Initiative (www.bloodcenter.org/ABO)
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.
ImpactLife is a not-for-profit community organization providing blood services to 124 hospitals in Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, and Wisconsin, as well as resource sharing partners across the country. Services extend from southcentral Wisconsin to St. Louis, Missouri and from Danville, Illinois to Chariton, Iowa. (See a map of the ImpactLife service region.) ImpactLife operates 22 Donor Centers and holds approximately 5000 mobile blood drives annually to provide blood components needed for patient transfusions at hospitals throughout our region.
For more information, see www.bloodcenter.org and find us @impactlifeblood on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok, Twitter, Snapchat, and YouTube.