Sixteen-year-olds given the keys to donate in Wisconsin
MADISON, Wis. – Turning 16 is a milestone for any teenager. Sweet 16 parties, driver's licenses, keys to your first old beat up car and beginning Saturday, March 15, 2008, 16-year-olds in Wisconsin will have the opportunity to donate blood with the American Red Cross with a signed Red Cross parental consent form.
"This is tremendous news for the Red Cross," said Tony Procaccio, CEO of the Badger-Hawkeye Blood Services Region. "The Red Cross introduced this legislation not only to help bolster the blood supply, but also to introduce young people to a unique form of community service – one that will hopefully become a lifelong tradition. There are thousands of 16-year-olds in our area, and by donating blood, these teenagers can truly make a difference."
In addition, with school currently in session and blood drives being held at high schools, this means even more students will be able to donate. Approximately 20 percent of blood donations made to the blood Red Cross comes from high schools and colleges.
Many of today's committed blood donors began donating while in high school, which is why the American Red Cross encourages students to start the lifelong habit of donating blood now.
"Blood donors are generous people who take the time to give blood for patients in need. However, the need for blood is growing so new donors are always needed," added Procaccio. "We would like to ask all eligible students to donate. We hope parents will support and encourage their high school students to give blood."
Donors must be in general good health, weigh 110 pounds or more, and be at least 16-years-old. Sixteen year olds must bring a signed American Red Cross parental consent form with them to the blood drive. Consent forms can be obtained by contacting the American Red Cross or a volunteer blood drive coordinator.
For more information, please call 1.800.GIVE.LIFE or visit givebloodgivelife.org.
About the Red Cross
The Mid-America Division of the American Red Cross Blood Services supplies blood products to
nearly 250 hospitals in 10 states and across the nation. The Red Cross relies on the generosity of more than 370,000 volunteer blood donors, nearly 8,300 blood drive coordinators and more than 2,100 employees to collect the blood that helps save thousands of lives each year. The Mid-America Division is one of nine Red Cross Blood Services Divisions located throughout the United States. Together, these divisions collect nearly 40 percent of the nation's blood supply.