Roll up your sleeve and help alleviate critical blood shortage

Albany High School Falcon mascot

Albany High School will do its part to help alleviate the nationwide emergency blood shortage by holding a blood drive on Thursday from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. in the annex gym (the old rubber gym).

Students, staff and community members are invited to donate at the drive, the first of three the school will hold this year. According to the American Red Cross, the national blood inventory is the lowest it’s been at this time of year since 2015, with less than a day’s supply of certain blood types in recent weeks.

For health and safety reasons related to COVID-19, all prospective donors 17 years of age and older must make an appointment by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS or register online and use the sponsor code AlbanyHS.

The exception is students who are 16 and want to donate; those students need to get signed permission and stop by the library to register.

Registered community donors must enter the school at Tower 2 (off the North Main Avenue parking lot) where they will receive a temperature check and have their appointment verified before going to the gym. All donors must wear a face mask and practice social distancing. Community donors also must bring a photo ID and be checked in through school security.

All potential donors are encouraged to use RapidPass, which allows them to read the required materials before donating and helps to speed up the donation process.

Besides saving lives, giving blood will help raise scholarship money for our two student blood-drive coordinators -- seniors Alison and Elizabeth Powell. Each donation counts towards Red Cross scholarships for them.