Story by Lydia Kicklighter, Lindsay Long, Chyna Wallace

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Photo by Chyna Wallace

Giving blood is one of the most effective ways to help save someone’s life. More than 41,000 blood donations are needed every day, and Dutch Fork helped supply those needs on Wednesday, November 4th.

“It saves people’s lives. If someone gets into a car accident or something, it’s good to help them without them even knowing it,.” senior Patrick Kircher said.

One single donation can help save up to three  lives.

“This helps others because in surgeries and stuff people need blood, so it’s important that we donate so that they have the blood they need,” junior Katherine Epting said.

In order to give blood, there are a couple requirements it’s necessary to go through.

“You have to be a 16 year old with parent consent, and 17 years and older and be in good health,” Red Cross senior donor recruiter Rolanda Hankins said.

Though the restrictions and qualifications are tough, it is necessary to pass them in order to give healthy blood that can be used.

“The qualifications are that you haven’t traveled outside the U.S. in the past 3 years, must have a valid ID, and you have to pass the physical examination,” collection tech 2 Jean Butler said.

Although some of these requirements may be difficult for some students, it is worth it in the end when lives are being saved, and there are many reasons why giving blood is important.

“That’s the only way we can receive it, is from each other, so we can give back to the community. We have so many patients in the hospital that need blood,” Hankins said.

Students agree with American Red Cross employees that giving blood, although it can be tough, is an important way to give back to the community.

“People need blood. It helps others who need it, and somebody’s gotta do it,” Katherine said.

Not everyone has the same outlook as math teacher David Kennedy on why giving blood is important.

“I get platelets every other week, but they give us a lot of stories of people that really need it, and if there’s something I can do, it’s a nice way to give to others that need it,” Kennedy said.

The Red Cross travels to different middle and high schools all over the country every day for students, teachers and staff to give blood to others that need it. Participation throughout the schools varies.

“It depends on the size of the school, Dutch Fork is a big school, so we collect 120 pints of blood each time we do the blood drive. At Chapin, we only collect 75 pints. It just depends on how big the school is as to the participation we get,” Hankins said.

The Red Cross strives to make sure all of their donors feel safe and welcome as they come to give blood.

“I wouldn’t change anything because I think all of the people are really nice. They always check on you and make sure you’ve eaten enough. They’re all really sweet with you, and really patient about how you feel and making sure you’re okay,” Katherine said.

Being a blood donor is important because although some people may want to, they may not have the capability of giving blood due to health or physical problems.

“I’m really proud of the school and how people do this,” Kennedy said. “When you get older, there’s so many reasons you can’t give blood anymore, so it really helps to have newer people come in and do this.”