blood donor colored (AP image)

By Amani Anderson

Here at Stuart there are of ways to participate in community service. Interact Club and Key Club both do different activities to help out around our community. Another amazing way you could have helped was signing up to donate your blood to people who really need it. “Blood drives have been held at Stuart for many years.  When the person who organized them in the past left for another school, the National Honor Society decided to take on this valuable community service project.” said National Honor Society sponsor Linda Lauderdale.  Students not only earn community service time and a t-shirt from INOVA, but also a red honor cord for graduation if they donate several times during high school.

According medical daily every two seconds someone in the United States needs blood. “A single individual who donates whole blood starting at 17 years old every 56 days until they reach 76 will have donated 48 gallons of blood, potentially saving more than 1,000 lives” states the American Red Cross.  You can reduce the thickness of your blood by donating blood on a regular basis; it removes the iron that may oxidize in your blood. An increase in oxidative stress can be damaging to your cardiovascular system. For people who are trying to lose weight you loose approximately 650 calories every donation.

Believe it or not, high school students are more willing to donate their blood than most adults.  During the year, most blood comes from high schools due to the big populations.  Blood donor specialist Jennifer Shin encourages students to donate. “ It helps upcoming donors get exposure to donating blood because not many people want to.” Luckily, many Raiders stepped up to the plate with all the best intentions.  “Because I’m healthy, I have the opportunity to help people. Hopefully my blood will be there to aid them” said junior Joanna Medrano.  Senior Wendy Martinez “I hope to help someone in desperate need of another chance at life. It’s crazy how only a bag of blood can help save a life” said senior

Doing something to help your community may seem small in your eyes, but in the eyes of the ones you are helping, you’re pretty much a hero. As the American Red Cross says, you don’t need a special reason to give blood. You just need your own reason. “ Imagine all the people injured each day in car accidents or have surgery for other reasons who need a blood transfusion. Sometimes, that is a student or a member of a students family who lives because of the blood that somebody took the time to give. It is all about helping others.” Said National Honor Society sponsor Ms. Lauderdale.

AP Images