information for the community

Lee JROTC hosts successful blood drive

Cadet Elijah

Cadet Elijah Gomez is stoked to donate blood.

On January 10, the Lee High School JROTC hosted a blood drive. As JROTC students reached the end of the day, the cadets noticed they still had a room of potential donors.  In the end, the campus donated enough blood to impact the lives of 197 people.

Richard Canales, the Lee HS principal, was on hand, and very impressed with the operation.  He toured the JROTC Armory, which was transformed into a mini clinic.  Maria Wyatt, the Blood Drive Coordinator, gave Canales a brief tour of the facility and expressed her thankfulness for the school’s donors.

“It is so wonderful to have Lee High School involved in the community,” said Wyatt. “I can’t express the gratitude of a thankful community that will benefit with today’s donations.”

According to the Southwest Blood and Tissue Center, persons 65-plus years of age account for 13 percent of the population, but require 50 percent of all whole blood and RBCs (red blood cells) transfused.

Cadet Elesa Ortiz

Cadet Elesa Ortiz is prepped to donate blood.

“It seems there is a stigma with people not wanting to donate blood, but it’s really simple,” said Cadet Elesa Ortiz, senior at Lee. “The people at the Southwest Blood and Tissue Center did a wonderful job.”

Sometimes students don’t realize the many benefits to making a blood donation. Every time a student donates blood, they save three peoples’ lives. Many first time student donors were really surprised to the efficiency of the process. Cadet First Sergeant Hillary Martinez personally spoke with student donors during the course of the blood drive and asked students what it was like to donate and how they felt afterwards.

Canales, Wyatt and Ramirez

Principal Canales, Maria Wyatt and LTC Ramirez supervise the donation event.

Cadet Jeremiah Sanchez stated that “he felt great donating blood.” Another cadet, Alicia Torres, was not eligible to donate but stated that “she was upset for not being able to donate because of how great of an opportunity it is to donate blood and help people out.”

Hillary herself donated blood that day. “I am happy to be a part of something wonderful that helps people out because it is nice to know at the end of the day that I was able to help out by saving lives,” said Hillary.

The Lee JROTC Corps of Cadets made it a point this year to make blood donations its community volunteer priority. The cadets are hoping that the next blood drive in March will be as successful. 

Contributing Writer: Cadet First Sergeant Hillary Martinez

Posted on January 16, 2014