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The Times
  • Red Cross calls for blood donations in wake of Nemo

  • Herkimer High School was the site for an American Red Cross blood drive on Friday.

    Since last year the school’s Outdoors Club has taken over the tradition of sponsoring a blood drive the day after Valentine’s Day, said junior Krista Green, Outdoors Club vice president.

    “Holding the blood drive in school is great because it really helps motivate kids to donate,” she said.

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  • Herkimer High School was the site for an American Red Cross blood drive on Friday.
    Since last year the school’s Outdoors Club has taken over the tradition of sponsoring a blood drive the day after Valentine’s Day, said junior Krista Green, Outdoors Club vice president.
    “Holding the blood drive in school is great because it really helps motivate kids to donate,” she said.
    “The last time I tried to donate, but I couldn’t because my iron was too low, so I wanted to try it again this year,” said junior Tazlin Dicob. “It’s nice to know by donating I am helping others.”
    Donor specialist for the American Red Cross of Syracuse Christine Daichi said while the Red Cross is always in need of blood, summer is the season in which blood is needed most.
    “The summer months are tough for the Red Cross because schools are out and the majority of the blood given comes from school blood drives,” she said.
    In order to donate, iron levels must be stable and height and weight requirements must be met.
    Since the Red Cross conducts blood drives for high schools and colleges requirements vary between the age of the donor, said Jessie Macdowell, donor specialist for the Red Cross of Syracuse.
    “A student over 19 must weigh 110 pounds and there is no height requirement,” said Macdowell.
    Herkimer High School science teacher and Outdoors Club advisor Michael Whitton said last year the school did not donate as much as he hoped it would, but this year more than 40 students signed up to donate. “Last year we donated 25 pints and this year I’m hoping we can double our donation and give more,” he said.
    Diane O’Donnell, of the Mohawk Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross, works with high schools to schedule blood drives. An alert given to Whitton by O’Donnell stated the Red Cross is currently experiencing a blood shortage due to the recent storm that hit the Northeast.
    As a result of the store, the Red Cross was forced to cancel 160 blood drives in eight states, resulting in a shortfall of more than 6,600 units of blood and platelets. To help ensure blood platelets are available for patients in the aftermath of the storm the Red Cross is encouraging those who meet requirements to schedule and donate in the upcoming weeks ahead. The Red Cross is particularly in need of donations from persons with blood types O negative, B negative and A negative.
    To donate blood, call 1-800-REDCROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org to find a blood donation opportunity.
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