This article was originally published on swvatoday.com.
Although elementary students are not yet old enough to donate blood themselves, this has not stopped students from Oak Point Elementary School and Saltville Elementary School from partnering with Blood Assurance to save lives. Both schools will host blood drives with the nonprofit regional blood center through the “Half Pints for Life” program.
The Oak Point Elementary School blood drive will take place on Aug. 25 from 9:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. at the school, 138 Oak Point Drive in Marion. The Saltville Elementary School blood drive will take place on Aug. 30 from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. at the school, 1013 E Main Street in Saltville.
“It is inspiring to see our local elementary students serve their community at such a young age,” said Sam McKinney, donor recruiter for Blood Assurance’s Tri-Cities and Southwest Virginia regions. “There are so many patients at hospitals from our community that are in great need. Because of the support from students, parents and administration from Oak Point Elementary and Saltville Elementary, we are confident that together we will be able to help save lives.”
The “Half Pints for Life” program is designed for elementary and middle school students to learn about and help promote the need for blood donations. Students can host blood drives by encouraging their parents and teachers to donate blood at school blood drives.
All donors will receive the “Donor Surf Co.” T-shirt; donors 18 years or older will be entered into a Blood Assurance monthly drawing for a $100 Elder’s Ace Hardware gift card, compliments of August #BAChampion Elder’s Ace Hardware; and donors 18 years or older will also be entered into a drawing to win the “Pick Your Paradise” vacation getaway for a $1,500 travel voucher ending on Aug. 31.
To be eligible to donate blood, individuals must be at least 18 years old (16 and 17 years old with parental consent), weigh 110 pounds or more and be in good health. Donors are asked to drink plenty of fluids, avoiding caffeine, and eat a meal that is rich in iron prior to donating. To schedule an appointment at a donor center or blood drive, visit www.bloodassurance.org, call 800-962-0628 or text ‘BAGIVE’ to 444999.
Blood Assurance is a nonprofit, full-service regional blood center serving 51 counties and more than 76 health care facilities in Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, North Carolina and Virginia.