Red Cross Announces Summer BloodStock Scholarship Winners
Two hard-working students were named the winners of the American Red Cross summer scholarship program, BloodStock. Tori Davis, a senior at Spalding High School in Griffin, Ga., is the winner of the $2,000 scholarship. Hillary Thompson, currently attending Darton College in Albany, Ga., is the winner of the $1,000 scholarship.
From May 1 through August 31, local high school and college students were encouraged to set up blood drives to help offset the decrease in summer blood donations. Participants whose blood drives collected at least 50 units of blood were eligible for a $2,000 college scholarship. Those who reached a goal of 35 units of blood were eligible for a $1,000 college scholarship.
Davis held her BloodStock blood drive at Spalding High School. She and her family have been blood donors for a number of years, recognizing the importance of blood when both grandparents had to receive transfusions in their lives.
“My family has always supported the American Red Cross, and growing up I remember seeing my mom and dad going to donate,” said Davis. “It is definitely something I will continue to do.”
Upon graduation, Davis intends to study nursing. She currently takes classes in the Business Management Program at Southern Crescent Technical College in Griffin and is looking forward to life as a college student.
Thompson’s BloodStock blood drive was held at Walmart in Vidalia, Ga. Hosting the blood drive was about more than just winning a scholarship for her; it was personal. Her mother is anemic and had to receive a blood transfusion, an event that Thompson said had a major impact on her life.
“I wanted to be able to help people like her and make sure that there is always enough blood for everyone that needs it for any reason,” said Thompson. “There are so many people out there who want to donate blood because they have had an experience with needing blood or know someone who has had a transfusion. I think that everyone that is able to donate blood should at least try it once.”
Every summer there is a dramatic decrease in blood donations, not only due to regular donors leaving for vacation but also because blood drives are not held at schools during summer break. The Red Cross obtains more than 20 percent of its blood donations from high school and college blood drives and has serious blood shortages whenever school is out.
While donations decline during the summer, the need for blood donations is constant. Most healthy people age 17 and older, or 16 with parental consent, who weigh at least 110 pounds, are eligible to donate blood and platelets. Donors who are 18 and younger must also meet specific height and weight requirements. Call 1-800-RED CROSS (800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org to learn more about giving blood or platelets or to schedule an appointment to donate.