A positive award for local school
Crescent Collegiate blood donor clinics pump out 194 donations
Many teenagers across Newfoundland and Labrador voluntarily roll up their sleeves to donate blood to those in need when their high schools host blood donor clinics.
Crescent Collegiate in Blaketown, Trinity Bay is one such school that hosts clinics every year, and this year its commitment paid off.
The school was named the Young Blood for Life 2013 award recipient for Newfoundland and Labrador from Canadian Blood Services, an award given to the school with the highest number of blood donations from Sept. 15, 2012 to May 31, 2013.
There were 12 schools that participated this year.
Officials with Canadian Blood Services (CBS) said Crescent Collegiate was sixth overall in the entire country, and received a $400 cash prize.
“Every year we challenge young donors to give blood and to help recruit the new blood donors we need to keep pace with the demand for blood in Canada,” said Renee Horton, a spokesperson for the Canadian Blood Services in Atlantic Canada. “Young Blood for Life challenges high schools to recruit students, teachers, their families and friends to donate at Canadian Blood Services clinics.”
The Canadian Blood Services website says it created the Young Blood for Life program to recruit younger donors to help “keep pace with the demand for blood in Canada.” It is sponsored by FedEx.
According to officials with CBS, 194 blood donations were received during the required period at the Grade 7 to 12 school. They beat last year’s winning total — 174 — by Queen Elizabeth Regional High School in Conception Bay South.
“(Previous) winners in NL have put their winnings toward their school’s breakfast program or to purchase a school mascot,” Karen Power from the CBS St. John’s location noted.
Crescent’s assistant principal Darryl George said the school has not decided what they will spend the winnings on yet.
Face of the cause
Some donors have family members or friends who have suffered an illness or accident that require them to need blood.
For some Crescent Collegiate students and faculty, it’s a student that can be commended for this year’s success.
“Our most recent blood donor clinic was held in honour of one of our students, Taylor Jackson,” George wrote in an email to The Compass.
Taylor, an 18-year-old graduating student, suffered a serious skull fracture in a bike accident July 2010 and received five units of blood.
“This year Taylor asked students and the people of our community to help support our school and himself by taking part in the clinic,” said fellow graduate and six-time blood donor Brookelyn Higdon.
Taylor’s sister Kylie is a big supporter of blood donation and, although only 15 years old, said she would try and overcome her fear of needles to donate when she reaches 17, the allowable age for donating.
“I think the support was unbelievable. With all the people that donated they are going to save so many lives, just like my brother’s,” she said.
Blaketown resident Morley Reid, a 400-time blood donor, was a big promoter of the event and said it is important to get young people, like Taylor, involved.
Taylor said he is happy to have helped out with such a great cause and contribute to the clinic’s success.
He also hopes to give back and become a donor as well.
“During the five hours of the clinic Taylor, along with his parents and sisters, went around and talked with many of the donors,” Reid explained.
Another program has been rolled out by CBS and Crescent has been honoured with the opportunity to pilot it beginning this fall.
The organization has decided to educate Grade 7 and 8 students across the country about blood donation by setting up the currently unnamed program in schools.
Some of the topics that will be covered in the program are “the function of blood in the body, the four components of blood, blood groups, the need and importance of blood and making healthy lifestyle choices.”