This winter has been rough.For the American Red Cross, they've had well over $1,000 drives cancelled in our region alone. But as spring arrives, the drives are back up and running.
Mikaela Trio says, "People know that it might happen to them and they'll need blood. So it's a good thing to at least try to give blood to help those that need it."
Maple River Senior Mikaela Trio has donated blood at her school ever since her sophomore year. Trio says, "You have no reason to be scared. Actually the worst part is when they prick your finger in the beginning."
And even though Maple River has hosted a blood drive for more than a decade, other drives have had to be cancelled or postponed due to the inclement weather.
Stacy Schmidtke says, "We've had over 1,500 canceled for this winter, so there's a need for all types of blood."
All types, including those from young people who can donate at the age of 16 with parental consent. And social studies teacher Mark Ulman has seen those teenagers sign right up, while teaching them a valuable lesson.
Ulman says, "I think the key component is for students to understand civic responsibility and to be aware of the need that's out there, especially given this year and we've talked about it with the Red Cross has had to cancel a lot of their blood drives so they're in dire need of blood."
The number of young people who have donated blood is on the rise over the last few years. And that was clearly evident here at the Maple River gym, where more than 100 students signed up to donate.
Schmidtke says, "Just think about the outcome, and think about the lives you're saving. That's the most important thing."
An important thing when one pint can save three lives.
Officials with the Red Cross say you can sign up to donate online at https://www.redcross.org/quickdonate/index.jsp