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DHS hosts blood drive

Many Demopolis High School students got their first taste of community service yesterday, as United Blood Service held a school-wide blood drive at DHS.

The blood drive is the first of two planned drives this school year, with the next one coming on Feb. 12. Students who donate blood twice will receive a special red cord of honor to wear during graduation ceremonies.

“This was the first year that 16-year-olds were allowed to give blood with their parents’ permission,” said Shea Parker, UBS donor recruitment representative. “We’ve had to turn away a lot of 16-year-olds today because they forgot to bring their permission forms.”

Parker said the drive brought in more than 50 donors, including DHS students and teachers alike. For many of the students, it was their first time to give blood, but others had donated blood before.

“For years, the blood drive was associated with Students Against Detrimental Decisions,” said Lucinda Mason, who organized this year’s drives, “but their sponsor retired, and it needed another sponsor, so the DECA Club picked it up. We wanted it to be a part of DECA Week, but the schedule didn’t work well, but today worked out really well for all of us.

“This is the first year for DECA to sponsor the blood drives, and I’d like us to keep it. I was pleased with the turnout, but we learned a lot today as far as organizing it goes, and in February, we hope to get way over our goal.”

More than 50 students and teachers gave blood, although more than 80 students wanted to give blood. Those not of age, who did not have permission slips or did not meet the physical requirements were turned away.

Parker said that United Blood Services would have several community-wide blood drives in the future.