By Anna Skinner
Recently, Westfield Washington Schools was acknowledged as the only school district in Indiana where all schools participated in hosting a blood drive.
Andrea Fagan, the marketing and PR director for the Indiana Blood Center, said this is very rare, and that she is not aware of any other school district having that much participation.
“Donating blood is an incredible experience. It is life-saving, truly,” Fagan said. She also mentioned that when blood is donated through the Indiana Blood Center, the majority of it is transfused into patients who need it and not used for research.
“I’m proud of the fact that community service is an integral part of what schools do,” Superintendent Mark Keen said. “Blood drives are only one part of that service, but the blood center told me around 1000 lives were impacted by the blood drives and that is certainly impressive to me and a source of pride for our community.”
Although it is required to be 16 years old to donate blood, the blood center still visited the schools with younger kids and taught them about blood and how it helps people. The kids then went home with fliers and were able to act as recruiters for the blood drive instead of actually donating themselves.
Fagan said that only 2 percent of eligible Hoosiers donate, and that the blood type most in demand is O negative, since it is considered the universal donor that is accepted among all blood types.
“This really is a great lesson to teach school age kids about how they can help other people,” Fagan said.
The Indiana Blood Center covers most of central Indiana, ranging as far north as Lafayette and as far south as Bloomington.
To learn more about donating and how to help, visit www.indianablood.org.