Midlakes student working on community blood drives

The Midlakes High School gymnasium will see a few more donors, volunteers and needles when it turns into an operations center for a community blood drive backed by a local student.

Midlakes senior Riley Backus is recruiting donors to support the American Red Cross for a blood drive on Thursday, Jan. 10. She also organized a blood drive at the high school in November and is planning another one for March 19.

Thursday’s blood drive is set from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the high school, 1554 Route 488.

“It was actually pretty simple when they talked to me about it,” Backus said. “You just need to have a sign-up sheet, go around during lunches and ask people to sign up. After that, come here to help set up, sign people in and stuff like that.”

Backus will receive a $750 scholarship from the American Red Cross if she is able to get at least 60 donors over the course of the three blood drives. She could receive a larger amount if Midlakes gets more donors.

Brittany Sullivan, a physical education/health teacher at MHS, said Backus could receive up to a $1,000 scholarship. Approximately 30 people donated blood during the November event.

“It is really great to give the kids an opportunity to donate while they are still in school, especially at such a young age,” Sullivan said. “We try to promote it as they are saving lives, which they are 100 percent.”

The American Red Cross allows donors to give blood every 56 days. Donors must weigh at least 110 pounds, be in good health and at least 16 years old. It takes about 30 minutes to donate, with snacks and drinks provided to donors.

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