Albany High School will do its part to help overcome a critical blood shortage nationwide when it holds a blood donation drive on Wednesday – tomorrow.
The drive will be held in the library from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Students, staff and community members are invited to donate at the drive, the first of the three the school will hold this school year.
All prospective donors 16 years of age and older must make an appointment by registering online and using the sponsor code AlbanyHS. Students who are 16 and want to donate also need to bring this signed permission form.
Registered community donors should enter school at the main entrance on Washington Avenue and have their appointment verified before going to the library. 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. Also, potential donors should drink plenty of water and eat green, leafy veggies in the days leading up to the drive.
The shortages are a result of back-to-back weather disasters that occurred during the usual summertime blood shortages, according to the Red Cross. The result? Medical care is threatened for patients with an emergency need for blood, or those living with critical conditions such as cancer and sickle cell disease and who depend on lifesaving blood transfusions.
Albany High is now part of a program that the Red Cross is hosting called "Sickle Cell Fighter High School Scholarship Program," where the school will focus on signing up students and staff and having them identify their race to encourage more Black donors and diversify the blood supply.
According to the Red Cross, many Black individuals have unique protein structures on their red blood cells that make their donations the most compatible blood, with reduced risk of complications.
Students who recruit the most Black donors will be in the running for the Sickle Cell Fighter High School Scholarship Program. That's in addition to the annual Red Cross scholarship for student blood drive coordinators if the three annual drives meet their donation goal.