OJAI, Calif. (Oct. 9, 2019) — Hunter Johnson of Ojai helped save lives by hosting an American Red Cross blood drive this summer and earned a $1500 scholarship as a result of his lifesaving efforts.
As part of the Red Cross Leaders Save Lives program, Johnson hosted a blood drive at San Buenaventura State Beach on July 11, 2019, which collected 60 blood donations. As a result, Johnson was entered in a drawing to win a scholarship and was chosen as a winner. Johnson was also awarded a gift card.
He was motivated to host a blood drive after one of his friends suffered a traumatic hand injury and needed to receive blood during the surgery.
When asked what he would say to encourage other students to host a blood drive, Johnson notes, “If you do this, you could potentially save so many lives, and it’s a very good experience.”
Johnson is currently a sophomore at Nordhoff High School, participates in the Junior Lifeguard program, and plans to study architecture after graduating.
Blood donors from high school and college blood drives account for about 20 percent of donations given through the Red Cross during the school year. Many of these blood donors do not give when school is not in session during the summer months and the winter holidays - a time when an overall decline in donations can often occur. The Leaders Save Lives program encourages community-minded high school and college students to host blood drives to help maintain the blood supply during these crucial times of the year.
Students can sign up now to participate in the Leaders Save Lives program this winter break, Dec. 15, 2019, through Jan. 15, 2020.
How to donate blood
Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.
Blood and platelet donors can save time at their next donation by using RapidPass® to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, before arriving at the blood drive. To get started, follow the instructions at RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass or use the Blood Donor App.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.