On December 7 Black River Falls High School hosted another one of the numerous blood drives that they have during the school year. There is a long process into setting up a blood drive each year that members of the Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America decided to put on.

“We usually start planning [the blood drive] at least a month in advance with getting donations, sending email, and also getting recruiters,” said senior Margaret Roou.

This year, however, FCCLA decided to add some changes to what gifts each person received after they donated blood.

“After their donation, they received a free gift of a long sleeve t-shirt, a $5 Amazon gift card, a Culvers “give a pint, get a pint” coupon, and also complimentary Papa Murphy’s pizza to refuel their bodies after the blood donation,” said Roou.

All of these gifts are brand new to the blood drive this year. The high school invited all members of the community, along with the high school students who are 16 years of age or older. If you are 16 years of age, you will need a parent’s signature for permission to be able to donate. Junior Matthew Jacobs decided to step up and give his blood to people that were in need. According to the American Red Cross, every two seconds there is a person in need of blood.

“I had not donated before, so I was excited to donate. I just decided to donated because I knew the Red Cross has a shortage of blood right now and that my gifts would be appreciated,” said Jacobs.

Jacobs was also a recipient of the gifts that were given out to the donors.

“I received the “Give a Pint, Get a Pint” coupon from Culvers. That was my favorite thing that I received, as well,” said Jacobs.

Although Jacobs was able to donate, some students were not as fortunate to give the gift of blood. There are many different reasons as to why people are not able to donate, whether it be the don’t meet the height or weight requirements, they have a low iron shortage, or they are sick during the time of donation. Senior Anna Goldsmith was one of the students that did not meet one of the requirements to donate.

“I have never donated before. I got deferred for my first time attempting to donate because my height and weight calculations weren’t high enough,” said Goldsmith.

During graduation, if a senior has donated blood more than three times, ho or she receives a red cord. That being said, Goldsmith is not going to try to donate again.

“I don’t think I will try to donate again because I’m not going to grow anymore, and I would have to gain 20-25 pounds to be able to donate, and that would make me overweight,” said Goldsmith.

The American Red Cross is always in need of donations of blood.