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Ask the Doc

August 2012 • Published in The Daily Press, Ashland WI

This month’s topic is back-to-school activities and how being a volunteer blood donor can help students enhance their college scholarship applications.  

This time of year has some parents and high school seniors thinking about college applications and scholarship applications. Memorial Blood Centers would like to remind you that high school students can earn service hours and community service credit for the volunteer activity of donating blood and for coordinating blood drives at their high schools.  

Memorial Blood Centers currently partners with over 100 high schools throughout Minnesota and northwestern Wisconsin to host blood drives. The vast majority of those blood drives were coordinated by students involved in the National Honor Society, school senate, or student council.  Hosting a blood drive is a great opportunity for students to begin building a life-long commitment to community service as blood donors. And taking the lead to organize a school-sponsored blood drive also gives you the opportunity to develop your leadership skills.  

Annually, Memorial Blood Centers’ high school and college blood drives account for about15 percent of total blood donations. That’s typically around 10,000 units of blood and growing year after year as more and more volunteer student donors step up to give.  

Additionally, Memorial Blood Centers offers a High School Scholarship program that rewards both students and their schools with financial awards for participating in and coordinating blood drives.  

As part of Memorial Blood Centers’ High School Program, there are plenty of educational resources to help you learn how to organize and conduct a successful blood drive, including an upcoming one-day training High School Workshop scheduled for October 24, 2012. There are also educational scholarships available to be awarded by your high school to selected graduating seniors.  

Besides the life-changing rewards, hosting a blood drive with Memorial Blood Centers is extremely easy. You’ll find more information online at: mbc.org/Host-a-Drive/Schools. Or to get started right away this fall organizing a blood drive at your school, connect with us at hostablooddrive@mbc.org.

Jed Gorlin, M.D. is Medical Director and Vice President, Medical and Quality Affairs for Memorial Blood Centers. Elizabeth Perry, M.D. is Associate Medical Director for Memorial Blood Centers. Send us your questions at askthedoc@MBC.org. Call us today 1-888-GIVE-BLD (888-448-3253) to schedule an appointment, or to find out more about Memorial Blood Centers and how we partner with the Ashland community to save lives visit About Us.