Mentor School students hosted a blood drive to give back

Students at Mentor High School stepped up and hosted a blood drive for the Red Cross

By Mimi Vanderhaven

After the American Red Cross issued an urgent plea for blood and platelet donation to combat a severe shortage, students at Mentor High School stepped up and decided to answer it.

On Wednesday, February 27, they sponsored a blood drive, asking students, teachers, parents and community members to pitch in.

The tally for the day was 120 donors registered and 93 pints collected. Since each blood donation can help up to three patients in need, that translates to 279 patients who can be helped in local hospitals.

“We talk a lot about being grateful for the support of our community in Mentor Schools,” says Kristen Kirby, director of community relations for the school district. “After all, it’s the community’s support that allows us to provide a well-rounded, high-quality education for our students. So, it makes us proud when our students say ‘thank you’ for that support by giving back to their neighbors. Our students give back all of the time and this latest blood drive was just one more example of their efforts.”

Local representatives from the Red Cross felt gratitude, too.

“We were so very impressed by the Mentor High School students,” says Pam Cancelli of the ARC. “Along with donating themselves and encouraging their peers, the student volunteers were so kind to the community members coming in, staying with them and chatting while they gave their donations.”

Kristen continues, “One of our strategic plan goals is to foster connections within the community. So, we were very happy to have the opportunity to host a blood drive open to everyone, when in the past we have run blood drives on our campus for students and staff only.”

Nationally, the Red Cross states last September and October, they collected 21,000 fewer donations than were needed at hospitals.

The need continues. You can make an appointment to donate or find the blood drive nearest you—there are several here in Lake County—at

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