High Schools Recognized for Blood Drives

May 29, 2013

Last Thursday, Granada High School in Livermore received a $1,500 scholarship award from the Rossmoor Blood Donation Assistance Committee for its student-organized blood drives with the American Red Cross.

Each year, the Rossmoor Committee presents a handful of scholarship awards to high schools participating in the “Save a Life Challenge,” a friendly competition between Alameda and Contra Costa County schools that sponsor blood drives with the Red Cross. Awards are given based on the number of registered blood donors at drives held over the course of the school year.

Granada High School took first place in the large school category for the 2011-12 school year. The Livermore school held three separate blood drives, which collected a total of 289 pints of blood.

“High school blood drives play a vital role in maintaining the blood supply,” said Jeff Meyer, CEO of the American Red Cross Northern California Blood Services Region. “Each year, they bring in approximately 20 percent of the blood we collect locally at our mobile blood drives. High school drives also help to educate and inspire the next generation of blood donors.”

The Rossmoor Blood Donation Assistance Committee was established in 1972 by a small group of residents of the Rossmoor community in Walnut Creek. Over the past 40 years, the committee has raised and awarded scholarships to local schools for their efforts to collect blood for those in need.

“The dedicated members of the committee realize the value of whole blood, in some cases because of personal experience,” said Nancy Moschel, chairperson of the Rossmoor Blood Donation Assistance Committee. “We see the importance of educating youth as to the value of whole blood and that giving blood is a simple and easy process.”

The Rossmoor Committee expanded the scope of its giving for the 2011-12 school year by implementing a new scholarship award for South Bay high schools (Monterey, San Benito, San Mateo, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties).

Other schools receiving scholarship awards from the committee include:

Large School Category (500 or more eligible donors)

  • Mt. Eden High School received a $500 scholarship award for greatest improvement in participation from the previous school year. During the 2011-12 school year, the Hayward school held two blood drives and registered 240 donors to give blood – a 116 percent increase over the previous year’s total (111 registered students). The Mt. Eden High School blood drives collected 203 pints of blood.

Small School Category (499 or less eligible donors)

  • Moreau High School finished in first place and received a $1,500 scholarship award. The Hayward school sponsored two blood drives and collected a total of 93 pints of blood.
  • Salesian High School finished in second place and received a $1,000 scholarship award. The Richmond school held one blood drive and collected a total of 72 pints of blood.

Monterey, San Benito, San Mateo, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz County High Schools

  • Santa Teresa High School finished in first place and received a $1,000 scholarship award. The San Jose school sponsored two blood drives and collected a total of 132 pints of blood.

Supporting the community blood supply is a year-round endeavor and the summer months are traditionally a difficult time to collect blood – in large part because schools are out of session and high school blood drives cannot be held. However, the Red Cross operates five blood donation centers in the Bay Area (Oakland, Pleasant Hill, Pleasanton, Newark and San Jose) and holds mobile blood drives every day throughout Northern California.

Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in some states), meet height and weight requirements (at least 110 pounds based on height) and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood.

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 visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.