Blood Donation is Not in Vain: Lakeland Regional Gives Back to Community


Ms. Tammy Ozdemir

Senior Evan Carus gives back to his community by donating blood.

Ms. Tammy Ozdemir
Senior Morgan Palace and Junior Madison Naddeo give blood donation a “thumbs-up.”

Lakeland Regional High School and the American Red Cross came together to host a school-wide blood drive in order to help students and staff serve their community.

On Tuesday, November 26, the Red Cross set up in the East Gym, and students and staff came to give blood. In order to donate, donors had to be 16 years of age and meet physical requirements.

Four students who met these requirements, seniors Morgan Tripodi, Amanda Miele, Steven Perez, and junior Meredith Would, all said that donating blood is vital in order to help others in need, and all recommended donation to others.

Ms. Jenni Harmon and Ms. Caitlin Vauter, the student council advisors, planned this blood drive by contacting the Red Cross, advertising the blood drive to the school, and setting up the East gym to accommodate Red Cross staff and donors. 

Ms. Tammy Ozdemir
Sophomore student council members John Burke, Monica Sperzel and Sara Starace help organize the blood drive.

Red Cross workers Driver Jerell Brown and DCA Shannon Rogers discussed the need and utilization of blood donations. Donating just one pint of blood can save as many as three lives by aiding in research, developing medicine and treating illness. Platelets, which are tiny blood cells that form clots in order to stop bleeding, can be used to treat burn victims and for cancer research, and plasma, the liquid which holds all blood cells in suspension, can be used to create medications. 

Blood donations are in high demand, as Brown describes, “as quickly as it comes in, it goes out.” In order to test the blood and ensure it is safe for use, the Red Cross uses sample tubes and tests the blood in their North Carolina laboratory. 

When asked about the benefits of donation, Ms. Harmon said, “I think it’s good to use this as a way to serve your community and other communities. It’s a great service for them [donors] to provide.” 

Factors like travel, sickness, age, weight, and the prevalence of veins can prevent donation.

If you are interested in donating blood, you can make an appointment with the Red Cross at a blood drive near you. For more information on donation, and to find the nearest blood drive, you can visit the Red Cross website.