Students earn distinction for giving blood
Three area high school students are being recognized by the Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center with Gallon Grad awards.
Pekin High School senior Zachery Sloan and Van Buren High School seniors Colton Putnam and Cassie Johnson are each being honored.
The blood center established the Gallon Grad award to honor students who donate at least eight times before graduating from high school. The fluid volume from eight whole blood donations is about one gallon.
The Gallon Grad award recipients each receive an award certificate and a red cord signifying the connection between the blood donor, the blood center and the patients who have been helped by the student’s donations. With permission from their school, students can wear the red cord in their high school graduation ceremony.
Students are eligible to begin donating blood at age 16, with a signed parental permission form provided by the blood center. Most begin donating blood at a blood drive hosted by their high school.
“These students have done something really special,” said Courtney Jones, donor relations consultant for the Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center. “As dedicated blood donors, they provide a resource that helps save lives at hospitals throughout our region.”
The Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center is the provider of blood and blood components to Jefferson County Health Center and Van Buren County Hospital.
Blood center officials said blood donation is a safe, simple procedure that takes about an hour to complete. Donors must be at least 17 years old — 16 with a signed parental permission form available from the blood center or online at www.bloodcenter.org — in good health and weigh at least 110 pounds. A blood center donor identification card or a photo ID is required to donate.