That's the message Perryville High School National Honor Society advisor Kelly Eddinger worked to convey to students, faculty, and staff.
Organized by the National Honor Society in conjunction with the Blood Bank of Delmarva, the school held its annual blood drive Wednesday, December 3.
NHS member Matthew Kroner said he made announcements to promote the event and the group distributed fliers. He also tried to reassure classmates who were reluctant. "Some of them are squeamish about seeing their own blood come out," Kroner said. "I tell them it's not a big deal." He did manage to convince one person who was hesitant, his girlfriend, Mercedes Forrester, who was scheduled to donate blood later in the morning.
PHS junior Vincent Debeauvernet donated blood for the first time. "I saw how much blood they collect and that was a little scary," he said. "The fact is in the end the blood goes to a good cause. I'm really doing it for an important reason."
Shannon McDuff was also donating for the first time. She wasn't nervous because she has had blood drawn for tests in the past. "I assume it will be like that," she said.
Nancy Cain, Blood Collections Supervisor for the Blood Bank of Delmarva, says schools made up a big part of the group's collections efforts. Schools are responsible for 18 percent of their blood supply.
The blood bank's mobile unit services schools, communities and businesses between three and five times a week and sometimes visits two locations in one day. "The Red Cross does a great service but they send blood anywhere in the country and even overseas," Cain said. "We keep the blood we collect here in local hospitals on the Delmarva Peninsula."
She said it's important to attract young donors. "We want to make sure we get them in now so they will do it for their entire life," said Cain.
Said Eddinger: "It's important for the students to experience volunteering. It's so simple. It only takes 45 minutes of their time to help save lives."