Through the ½ Pints 4 Life program, elementary and middle schools assist the regional blood center in their efforts to maintain an adequate supply of blood by recruiting adults to donate blood at school blood drives. Educational materials are also made available to the schools by Blood Assurance’s participation in the My Blood, Your Blood initiative through America’s Blood Centers.
Cherokee Ridge Elementary School in Chickamauga earned top honors by donating 86 units of blood during the 2011-12 school year.
Max V. Tolbert Elementary School in Resaca, Ga., contributed 64 units of blood, followed by East Coffee Elementary School in Tullahoma, Tenn., which contributed 56 units. Blood Assurance’s service region includes 34 counties throughout Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee.
While these younger students took part in recruiting blood donors in the 2011-12 school year, high school students rolled up their sleeves to contribute 13,581 units to the local blood supply. Their contributions account for approximately 16 percent of all annual blood donations in the community.
To be eligible, donors must be at least 17-years-old (16-years-old with parental consent) and weigh at least 110 pounds. The process usually takes about 30 minutes and includes a complimentary snack and t-shirt. Prior to donating, donors are asked to drink plenty of fluids, avoid caffeine and eat a meal rich in iron.
For more information about Blood Assurance’s youth programs, visit bloodassurance.org/edu.