Heartland Teens Donate Blood to Help Military Men and Women




Heartland Teens Donate Blood to Help Military Men and Women
By: Wendy Ray

(Cape Girardeau, MO)--As the war continues, the American Red Cross is busy making sure all blood supplies are full.

In fact, the Red Cross office in Cape Girardeau has been put on level one for military support, in case units are needed.
It's possible the blood we donate here will go to our military men and women. All the units donated are sent to the national testing lab in St. Louis. From there, they're distributed to Heartland hospitals and now, to our military if donations are needed. So it's important the shelves are always stocked. Students at Cape Central High School did what they could Wednesday to help out.

This isn't the first year for Cape Central to have a blood drive. It's become an annual tradition, but this year it's different. Their tie-dyed shirts boast the theme of peace, love, and giving blood.

Kyle Meadows is one of a few hundred students who gave blood at the drive. A member of the National Guard, it's something he felt he had to do. "I guess this is me giving back to them, for them giving their all to me," Kyle says.

Other donors are doing it for their family. Donor Brooke Watson says, "My sister's in the Army, so it's helping her out and the people over there." Donor Sandra Smoot says, "I gave blood when my brother was in Desert Storm, and personally I don't know if I have a loved one over there, but they're all my loved ones."

Donations are always needed. The Missouri-Illinois Red Cross office in Cape Girardeau recently sent 73 units of O-negative blood to Scott Air Force Base.

David Palmer with the Red Cross says, "The military had had a self sufficient blood supply until then. We've been working with the military for 50 years. The way it works is if it's okay, okay, if they need help, they'll call the Red Cross."

The Red Cross got the help it needed from Cape Central students, who want to help anyway they can. Senior Sara Lane says, "We would really like people to know that giving blood can really give piece of mind knowing it's helping the people who need it."

The best way to keep shelves stocked is for people to give blood consistently, and for every blood drive to meet it's goal. For more information on upcoming blood drives, call your local American Red Cross office.