FFA teams up with Red Cross for blood drive

Signal Knob Middle School FFA students Chloe Copeland, left, and Cameron Rutz, right, both 12, escort Bob Coverstone, of Fort Valley, after he donated blood at the middle school on Monday afternoon. The school's FFA chapter sponsored the blood drive for the American Red Cross as part of its FFA Week activities. Rich Cooley/Daily

STRASBURG – Members of the Signal Knob Middle School FFA teamed up with the American Red Cross to hold a blood drive on Monday in recognition of National FFA week.

Jaclyn Ryan, agriculture and FFA teacher at Signal Knob, said the students were extremely excited to be a part of this event.

“I hope that they understand and realize the importance of blood donation and how one pint of blood can save up to three lives,” she said, “I really hope that they will consider being donors someday.”

While the students are not able to donate – donors must be 16 or older – the students helped out in other ways.  They signed in community members who came in to donate blood and made sure the donors read a pamphlet about the process. The students also provided the food and drinks for the event.

Students, who have held blood drives in the past and had planned for this event since September, were also encouraged to tell family and neighbors to come in and donate blood to support the community.

“They look forward to it,” Ryan said.

To get the word out about the event, the students and Ryan posted to social media, hung flyers around the school and made morning announcements.

The Red Cross had stations set up in the school cafeteria with beds and equipment ready to go. There were 39 people who had pre-registered to donate blood, and others walked in throughout the day.

“The first year we did this, out of about 45 blood drives that were held on the East Coast, us and Penn State had the highest amount of donors,” Ryan said.

Contact staff writer Kaley Toy at 540-465-5137 ext. 176, or ktoy@nvdaily.com