LEBANON, Ohio – High school students come to the Warren County Career Center to discover a new home and a vocational calling.  Many are also answering the call to be blood donors, and that helped WCCC earn a $1,000 High School Leadership grant as Community Blood Center’s “Most Improved” high school blood drive in the 2015-2016 academic year.

WCCC student donors celebrate the award as they rolled up their sleeves Wednesday, Oct. 12 to support the first blood drive of the new school year.  They want to continue the momentum that began when WCCC went from hosting a single blood drive in 2014-2015 to hosting both a fall and spring blood drive in 2015-2016.

An additional 97 WCCC students registered to donate last year, an increase of 226 percent.  It was the highest rate of improvement among the 118 high schools that hosted 226 blood drives in CBC’s 15-county region of eastern Indiana and western Ohio.

“It’s great!” said WCCC blood drive coordinator and school nurse Sharon Moeller. “It’s something we didn’t expect at all. We’ve very pleased.”

Sharon was quick to note that simply adding a new blood drive didn’t guarantee success.  Students had to have the right encouragement to support it.

“Our teachers helped talk it up with the students,” she said. “They really encouraged them and let them know they are helping people. Most of all, they allowed them to take the time away from class to donate. It’s a disruption. But the administrators and staff really support it.”

The result was a full schedule of donors. “It went very well,” said Sharon. “We always have at least 10 who really want to donate but we don’t have the room.”

Wednesday’s first blood drive of the fall proved WCCC is off to another good year. Students supported the blood drive with 73 registrations, including 42 first-time donors and 54 blood donations for 110 percent of the collection goal.

“I don’t like seeing my own blood, but it’s something I make myself do,” said Jenna March, a sports medicine student from Trenton who earned CBC Red Cord honors with her third lifetime donation Wednesday. “There are people who have been in a car accident and they need healthy blood. I could be in an accident and need healthy blood. You never know.”

“It’s a good thing to do,” said graphic student Lilith Kelly after making her first lifetime donation.

Senior Criminal Justice students Morgan Conover and Christina McElwain snacked on cookies and sipped water as they waited to donate. It was the fourth lifetime donation for Morgan and the third for Christina.

They believe students who are interested in public safety are especially inclined to support the blood drive. “It’s saving lives and helping people,” they said.

Senior William Huff made his third lifetime donation at the blood drive and hopes to donate at least twice more before graduation. He’s studying Fire Science Management and his goal is to a firefighter and paramedic.

“I love helping people,” William said. “Every time you guys come I donate blood. I don’t care about the pain as long as I can help someone else. That’s all I care about.”

CBC annually awards five High School Leadership grants. Recipients for 2015-2016 included Wayne High School for “Most Donors,” Seton Catholic High School for “Highest Percentage of Enrollment” participating in school blood drives and the Butler Tech Bioscience Center in Hamilton as the runner-up. Fairmont High School earned the “Red Cord Excellence” grant for the highest number of student donors qualifying for the CBC Red Cord Honor Program.

WCCC’s spring blood drive will be March 7, 2017.

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