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NRHS to host community-wide blood drive Jan. 4

NRHS juniors Maggie Scanlan, Katey Eickhoff and Evelyn Perez Mora are three of the students helping organize the Jan. 4 blood drive at the high school. Submitted photo

After holding a building-wide blood drive at the high school this fall, New Richmond High School is looking to hold a community-wide drive starting at 3 p.m on Friday, Jan. 4.

"These have come about as students have become more involved and wanted to take more of a leadership role. They are coordinated through the Red Cross," said high school biology/life science teacher Jeff Albarado. "We've done about three or four of these community drives. They are after school, which is what makes them mostly different than what we do with our building drives."

Three of the main coordinators of the Jan. 4 blood drive are juniors Katey Eickhoff, Maggie Scanlan and Evelyn Perez Mora.

"I liked the idea of students and members of the community can get together to do something really important. Around this time of the year, it is a completely free way to really make a big difference," said Eickhoff. "The main thing for this drive is outreach to the community. We are making sure a lot of people know about it. We want to make sure our numbers are up. We also have an assignment in a few of our classes to recruit one person to donate blood to help increase our numbers."

Although Scanlan struggles with giving blood, she still knows how important it is. But that is only part of the reason she wanted to help set up the blood drive.

"Blood donation is really close to me because my dad required a blood transfusion several years ago and without it he wouldn't have made it. I'm just so appreciative to those people who do donate blood and I want to make it easier for them to donate," Scanlan said.

According to Perez Mora, a total of 4.5 million people die every year lacking a blood transfusion. In order to help make sure more blood is available for transfusions, the high school is hoping to get at least 100 people to give blood during its Jan. 4 drive.

"We'd like to see a lot of students take part in this drive. But we are really looking more for community people to sign up," Perez Mora said.

Giving blood saves lives, but it can also help students at NRHS pay for college. According to Albarado, part of the motivation for the school to host additional blood drives is to take advantage of a Red Cross scholarship program that donates money to a school's scholarship fund based on how much blood they are able to collect during blood drives. Albarado said the school has secured anywhere between $500 and $2,000 through the program over the years. By holding a couple smaller drives, the school hopes it will be able to reach another level on the scholarship scale to help its students pursue their dreams.

"Getting the money from the Red Cross for our scholarship fund means a lot. College is so expensive that any help is really appreciated. That kind of scholarship is really valued in our school," Eickhoff said. "Not only is it important, but it is also a school pride thing since we can make a difference just by putting on a blood drive."

The trio advised anyone donating blood to drink a lot of water and to get their iron levels up a few days before giving blood, rather than just the day of, which would include eating red meat or leafy greens.

"I think the thing that deters most people is that they are so nervous to donate blood and it scares them. It is really not scary at all since everyone is so nice and helpful. It is just such an important cause that it is worth it," Eickhoff said.

There are several ways to schedule a time to give blood at the NRHS Jan. 4 blood drive, including using the Red Cross app and redcrossblood.org. Those interested in giving blood can also reach out to Maggie Scanlan (scanlmag@nrstudents.newrichmond.k12.wi.us), Katey Eickhoff (EICKHKAT@nrstudents.newrichmond.k12.wi.us) and Evelyn Perez Mora (perezeve@nrstudents.newrichmond.k12.wi.us) through their school emails to schedule an appointment.

Jordan Willi
Jordan Willi is a reporter for the New Richmond News. Previously, he worked as a sports reporter at the Worthington Daily Globe in Worthington, Minnesota. He also interned at the Hudson Star Observer for two summers and contributed to the Bison Illustrated sports magazine at North Dakota State University.
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