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Blood Assurance, a local nonprofit blood donor center, is expanding its Cord of Courage program for high school blood donors in the region.

The program recognizes high school students who have given blood by awarding them with a cord to wear on graduation day. It will now include surrogate blood donors for students not eligible to donate blood, according to a written statement from Blood Assurance. The surrogate can recruit friends or family members to donate blood to earn points.

One in seven units of blood collected at Blood Assurance is from a high school student, according to Mindy Quinn, marketing manager for Blood Assurance.

To receive the Cord of Courage students must earn six points. If they earn 10 points, they receive a super cord. A Senior Superstar medallion has also recently been added as an option.

One point is earned for every regular blood donation and two points are earned for an Apheresis or ALYX donation. Only a blood component, like platelets, is used from an Apheresis donation. An ALYX donation collects two units of red blood cells instead of only one and the platelets and plasma are returned to the donor.

In June and July, the number of points earned is doubled.

All high school seniors who earn a cord for donating blood and recruit 25 or more new blood donors are entered to win the Senior Superstar medallion.

Donors must be at least 17 years old, or 16 with parental consent; weigh 110 pounds or more and be in good health. Donors should drink plenty of decaffeinated fluids and eat a meal that is rich in iron prior to donating.

For details about Blood Assurance or donating blood, visit or call 1-800-962-0628.