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News Release, Charles County Public Schools

The Red Cross Club at St. Charles High School spent the past two weeks drumming up support for its recent blood drive. But it didn’t take much convincing to sign up volunteers. “Not at all,” said Helena Caaya, a junior and president of the Red Cross Club.

The main hurdle to clear was making sure volunteers met the donation criteria. To donate, a person must be at least 17 years or older (or have parental permission at 16), meet the height and weight requirements, have not received a tattoo within the past year, along with a list of other caveats. “We have some new donors this year who weren’t old enough last year,” Caaya said. “There are strict rules you have to follow to donate.”

Logan Blaise, a junior, signed up because he likes helping others. “I don’t do the hard work, they do,” he said, nodding toward Stephi Fonou, a phlebotomy technician drawing his blood. “It can literally save people’s lives … with little effort on your part.”

Each pint of blood can save up to three lives, according to the American Red Cross. Among those who receive blood donations are cancer patients, trauma patients, those with sickle cell disease, people with chronic illnesses and burn patients.

Dashawn Robinson, a senior, donated because he thought it was the right thing to do. “It’s going to help someone,” he said. “You don’t know where or when you or somebody will need it.”

At St. Charles, 10 teachers and 37 students signed up to donate with 24 completing successful donations. About half of those were first-time donors, said Brian Reip, a resource teacher who sponsors the club along with math teacher, Alicia Steward.

“We are always excited when we have first-time donors who are able to successfully give,” Reip said. “And we are always excited and proud of our student volunteers who embrace the mission of a blood drive and the value behind saving a life.”

To find an upcoming blood drive, go to http://tinyurl.com/y3h3ttgg.

David M. Higgins II, Publisher/Editor

David M. Higgins was born in Baltimore and grew up in Southern Maryland. He has had a passion for journalism since high school. After spending many years in the Hospitality Industry he began working in...