Ashe County’s community came together for the greater good as Ashe County High School hosted its bi-annual blood drive Thursday.
Phyllis Ashley is an R.N. and a health science teacher at Ashe County High School. According to her, the high school has two blood drives per year, all of which are planned and carried out by her health occupation students.
“It takes a lot of work and preparation, and our students who work during the event make the blood drive go smoothly,” said Ashley.
For the last month, the health occupation students have been coordinating the event and signing their fellow students up to volunteer.
By Thursday morning, the blood drive already had 170 appointments scheduled with a goal of getting 140 pints. According to Ashley, the blood drive exceeded is goal by collecting 145 pints. Part of this contribution came from 42 first-time donors.
During the blood drive, donors are signed in and then ushered from station to station. After the donors have given blood, the donors are carefully monitored for a few minutes and given food to replenish their systems.
Ashley thanked the school’s administration and staff, saying, “The entire faculty and staff are always very supportive. Without teachers allowing their students to leave class in order to give blood, the event wouldn’t be possible.”
The community also played an important role in the event.
“The community really supports us by donating food, and we are thankful for that,” said Ashley.
Although most of the donations came from students, many locals also donated during the blood drive, said Ashley. According to her, the only restriction for a donor is they must be at least 16 years old to be eligible (barring other medical circumstances).
Ashley Gantt, a donor recruitment representative from the American Red Cross, said Ashe County High School “is one of the best high schools for donating blood to the Red Cross.”
“Every time we come here, the atmosphere is relaxed and laid back,” said Gantt. “You can tell the students really take the blood drive seriously, and they are very passionate about helping others.”
Gantt said this blood drive was sponsored in part by Allied Health. Other groups in the community who wish to organize a blood drive can contact her at 336-529-4918 or by email at Ashley.firstname.lastname@example.org.