ANDOVER — On June 11, the Pymatuning Valley High School Student Council will hold their second summer blood drive for the American Red Cross. This year, the drive will be held from noon to 6 p.m. in the high school cafeteria. The blood drive is open for anyone to donate. Alumni of Pymatuning Valley, recent and not-so recent, are extra encouraged to come to the blood drive, in hopes that the event will act as a kind of informal reunion. There is a planned Hawaiian theme for the drive, and in addition to the snacks the Red Cross will be serving, there will be Hawaiian-themed treats available.
The Student Council enjoys doing blood drives because they give the community a chance to help support the students at the school, and there is mutual benefit for all involved. The Red Cross actually has a scholarship program in which they donate scholarship money to schools based on the number of pints they donate. Last year, Pymatuning Valley received approximately $1,000 in scholarship money, which was split into scholarships of $250.
The difference between the school and regular blood drives is that the Student Council members will actually visit with and support new and returning blood donors, and help talk them through it. The students help with this, registering donors, and administering the snacks after a person has donated.
“I feel like, when I’m in the donor room, I’m really making a difference. I know the first time I donate blood I’ll be nervous, so it will be great when someone stands and talks to me,” said Andrew Holden, a blood drive volunteer.
One incentive to donate blood would be to get VIP vouchers to the Van’s Warped Tour, a summer music festival that travels across the nation with bands of many genres. All who come to donate this summer at American Red Cross Warped Tour blood drives will receive a Van's Warped Tour VIP voucher, that, with a purchased ticket, can be used at the Warped Tour for access to a VIP area where exclusive meet-n-greets take place. Donors will also have the chance to win an exclusive Vans Warped Tour Experience which includes two concert tickets and meet-n-greets with select bands. These packages allow access to areas not open to the general public.
The best incentive, however, is the fact that one pint of blood can save three lives. The students’ goal this year is to donate 30 units of blood. This blood drive is important to the Student Council because 20 percent of the Red Cross blood comes from school blood drives. During the summer, when school is out, this supply drops off greatly. This drive gives the school a chance to continue donating during the summer. The Student Council is looking forward to seeing all of our local heroes come out to save lives.