CARROLLTON — Michelle Calzada of Carrollton helped save lives by hosting an American Red Cross blood drive this past fall and earned a $2,500 scholarship as a result of her lifesaving efforts.
As part of the Red Cross Leaders Save Lives program, the R.L. Turner High School student hosted a blood drive at The Courtyard by Marriott in Carrollton on November 30, 2020, which collected 71 blood donations. As a result, Calzada was entered in a drawing to win a scholarship and was chosen as a winner. Calzada was also awarded a gift card.
Calzada shares, “I have participated in a virtual CPR and First-aid class through my school’s BioMed Academy and was able to get my certification through the American Red Cross. My family is also very involved with their participation in blood drives hosted by the Red Cross.”
Often-times there’s a personal connection for an individual to hosts blood drives, Calzada is no different, “during the time of my grandfather’s kidney transplant, he was a blood recipient from the American Red Cross, which was a big contributing factor to the success of the surgery and treatment,” says Calzada.
Blood donors from high school and college blood drives account for about 20% of donations given through the Red Cross during the school year. The Leaders Save Lives program encourages community-minded high school and college students to host blood drives to help maintain the blood supply for patients in need of lifesaving transfusions. As the pandemic wears on in 2021, blood donations remain essential to the health of our communities.
Students can sign up now to participate in the Leaders Save Lives spring program for drives now through May 31, 2021. For more information, visit RedCrossBlood.org/LeadersSaveLives.
Blood Donation Safety Precautions
To protect the health and safety of Red Cross staff and donors, individuals who do not feel well or who believe they may be ill with COVID-19 should postpone their donation.
Each Red Cross blood drive and donation center follows the highest standards of safety and infection control, and additional precautions – including temperature checks, social distancing and face coverings for donors and staff – have been implemented to help protect the health of all those in attendance. Donors are asked to schedule an appointment prior to arriving at the drive and are required to wear a face covering or mask while at the drive, in alignment with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention public guidance.
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 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.