The American Red Cross is trying some innovative ideas to keep the gift of life flowing.
One of the more recent ones is reaching out to high school students.
It’s a good idea and likely to produce good results.
The approach to younger people takes at least a couple of forms, according to Ashley Mills, the Red Cross blood drive champion in Ashe County and Surry counties.
She has worked with Kansas Clarke, an Ashe County High School senior.
Clarke has organized a blood drive at the school that will make donations by 16-year-olds more practical.
Donations by people so young is fairly new and requires permission of a parent.
Clarke’s project makes sense for several reasons.
She seems highly motivated and capable with Mills’ assistance. It is a characteristic we have seen in some young people recently, and it is gratifying. Some seem to be developing a habit of service to others.
Clarke can reach high school students because she walks among them daily and knows what motivates them.
So the Red Cross gives her an incentive of a $2,000 scholarship if her drive raises 50 units of blood. It’s a good gamble.
Reaching out to younger people comes at a time when older folks -- who have been considered the group to count on – are becoming unable to give.
The parents of baby boomers grew up with wartime examples of how giving blood saves lives. They were convinced by experience and gave accordingly.
But they are reaching their 70s and 80s and health considerations limit their ability to give.
We support this new effort toward giving for the benefits to the community and the benefit to students who are learning service.