WEST ALLIS, Wis. (Feb. 18, 2020) — While students enjoyed a break from school over the holidays, Lindsey Wigand of West Allis, WI answered the call to help save lives by planning an American Red Cross blood drive. The Ripon College student earned a $1,000 scholarship in recognition of her hard work.
As part of the Red Cross Leaders Save Lives program, Wigand hosted a blood drive at West Allis City Hall on Dec. 27, 2019. The blood drive was successful, bringing in 44 pints of blood, thanks to generous volunteer blood donors. As a result, Wigand was entered to win a college scholarship and was chosen as a winner. She was also awarded a gift card.
Wigard was born and raised in West Allis and attends Ripon College. She anticipates graduating in May of 2022 with a degree in theatre and psychobiology and plans to attend graduate school in the future. When asked about sharing her personal connection to the Red Cross, she said it began in high school when she became CPR/first aid certified at West Allis Central.
In Dec. of 2018, Wigand was planning to donate blood but was deferred. When she found out she couldn’t donate she wanted to help the Red Cross in any way she could and decided to host a blood drive. The Leaders Save Lives program encourages community-minded high school and college students to host blood drives to help maintain the blood supply during crucial times of the year.
“The Leaders Save Lives program seemed like a consolation prize to being able to donate blood,” said Wigand. “I found that hosting a drive was even more fulfilling than donating blood alone. The drive itself was such a fun and rewarding opportunity and the scholarship is just icing on the cake.”
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 winter holidays - a time when an overall decline in donations can often occur.
“Since the blood drive was close to the holidays, I was worried that people would rather be at home, but instead they chose donating blood,” said Wigand. “In tough times, it is really uplifting to see people doing kind things with no benefit to themselves.”
Registration is now available for the Summer 2020 program, which will award scholarships to 10 student participants. More information is available at RedCrossBlood.org/leaderssavelives.
How to donate blood
Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enable the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device 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 (16 with parental consent in some states), 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% 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.