Regan Smith, an 11th grade student at Fike High School in Wilson, gives blood as Brandy Dizon, of Norfolk, of the American Red Cross, manages the donation Thursday. Photo taken Thursday, March 9, 2017. Drew C. Wilson | Times
By Drew Wilson
and Olivia Neeley
Times Staff Writers
Donors showed up by the hundreds Thursday making it another big day for Fike High School’s annual blood drive.
“We’ve had great turnout,” said Kim Schmidt, health science teacher at Fike and co-chairwoman of the event. “We actually had donors on the beds at 7 a.m., and that’s when we were scheduled to start.”
Schmidt said Red Cross officials had been there since Wednesday night.
“Some of them spent the night here preparing and setting up everything,” she added.
This is the largest single-day high school blood drive in the nation.
“We got that distinction three years ago,” Schmidt said.
Some 211 pints had been donated by noon with a goal of 700 pints for the one-day event.
“We’re looking good,” Schmidt said.
American Red Cross officials say the need for blood is constant, and only volunteer donors can fulfill the need for patients in their community. Nationwide, someone will need a unit of blood every 2 to 3 seconds, and most will need blood in their lifetime. One pint of blood can save up to three lives, officials say.
Regan Smith, an 11th-grader and student volunteer for the drive, gave blood for the first time Thursday.
“Needles are tough,” Smith said as she got stuck for the first time. “You never know who’s going to need it. You think of family members who needed blood and what would you do if they weren’t able to receive it.”
Fike’s student body spent weeks recruiting donors. Students will receive perks if they donated or found someone to donate for them.
Dozens of health science students volunteered throughout the day as well as three Fike High School graduates.
“All of these students are health science students who are planning on going into health care when they graduate,” Schmidt said.
The blood drive is student driven, too.
“They really want to work at this blood drive,” Schmidt said. “It is important to them so they do a lot of the recruiting to get people to come. The community is real familiar with it now.”
Jessica Dumong, another health science teacher at Fike and co-chairwoman of the event, said the drive is successful because it’s a partnership, a collaborative effort between students, the staff at the school, the community and the American Red Cross.
All have the same goal — saving lives.
“We have seen firsthand the benefit of blood donation because we have seen firsthand the patients that it has taken care of,” Dumong said. “It affects everyone directly or indirectly. We are very proud of all of the hard work that goes into this, and we hope that each year we get bigger and bigger.”
Fike teachers fed student volunteers breakfast Thursday, while Brewmasters fed them lunch and dinner. Thomas Law purchased special T-shirts designed by a student. Those volunteers wore those shirts throughout the day Thursday.
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