Youth programs help build a new generation of blood donors

2014-02-20T00:00:00Z Youth programs help build a new generation of blood donorsTimes Staff nwitimes.com
February 20, 2014 12:00 am  • 

MERRILLVILLE | When young people, from elementary school through college, become involved with American Red Cross blood drives, they learn the importance and need to help save lives through blood donations. For many, it’s an experience that can shape adult behavior.

“We want our youth to know they can make a huge difference in their community and the world,” said Sharyn Whitman, CEO, with the Indiana-Ohio Blood Services Region of the Red Cross. “When they ask their friends and family to donate blood, when they volunteer at a blood drive and donate blood themselves, they can start the powerful habit of a lifetime.”

Whitman said it is crucial to educate young people about the importance of blood donations. Baby boomers, generally defined as those born between 1946 and 1964, make up a significant portion of blood donors. As this population gets older, they may be less able to give blood on a regular basis.

“We will be depending on a new generation of blood donors to take their place,” Whitman added.

The Red Cross offers opportunities to engage youth. Programs like Pint Size Heroes help build awareness and provide blood donor recruitment opportunities among elementary and middle school-age children. High school and college-age students have the opportunity to sponsor blood drives at their schools, form and join Red Cross clubs and donate blood.

Upcoming Red Cross blood drives in Lake County:

  • 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday in The Commons at Bethel Church, 10202 Broadway, Crown Point. Come to donate and receive a Culver's Frozen Custard coupon good for one pint of frozen custard.
  • Noon to 5:30 p.m. Sunday in Building T at First Baptist Church, 484 Willow Court, Hammond. Come to donate and receive a T-shirt and a Culver's Frozen Custard coupon
  • 2:30 to 6:30 p.m. Monday at Hobart Community Center, 111 E. Old Ridge Road.
  • 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Feb. 26 and 27 in the Student Union Library Alumni Hall at Purdue University Calumet, 2200 169th St., Hammond. Come to donate and receive a Red Cross T-shirt.
  • 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. March 2 at Family Video, 295 S. Wisconsin St., Hobart. Come to donate and receive a coupon for one free movie rental.
  • 3:30 to 7 p.m. March 2 at Family Video, 1208 E. Glen Park Ave., Griffith. Come to donate and receive a coupon for one free movie rental.
  • 1:30 to 6:30 p.m. March 4 at Highland Parks & Recreation Center, 2450 Lincoln St., Highland. Come to donate and receive a Culver's Frozen Custard coupon for one pint of frozen custard.
  • 2 to 7 p.m. March 5 in Café A and B at Jean Shepherd Community Center, 3031 Mahoney Drive, Hammond. Come to donate and receive a Culver's Frozen Custard coupon for one pint of frozen custard.
  • 12:30 to 6:30 p.m. March 6 at St. Matthias Church Hall, 101 Burrell Drive, Crown Point. Come to donate and receive a Culver's Frozen Custard coupon for one pint of frozen custard.
  • 2 to 6 p.m. March 7 at Cabela’s, 7700 Cabela Drive, Hammond. Come to donate and be entered into a drawing for a $25 Cabela’s gift card.
  • Noon to 2:30 p.m. March 8 at Family Video, 2939 45th St., Highland. Come to donate and receive a coupon for a free video rental.
  • 4:30 to 7 p.m. March 8 at Family Video, 1440 Sheffield Ave., Dyer. Come to donate and receive a coupon for a free video rental.
  • 8 a.m. to noon March 10 at Southlake Family YMCA,  1450 S. Court St., Crown Point.
  • 2 to 6 p.m. March 10 in the Common Area at First Christian Reformed Church, 909 E. Greenwood Ave., Crown Point.
  • 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 11 at Chase Bank, 8585 Broadway, Merrillville. Come to donate and receive a Culver's Frozen Custard coupon for one pint of frozen custard.
  • 2:30 to 6:30 p.m. March 11 at the Knights of Columbus Hall, 13039 U.S. 41, Cedar Lake.
  • 2 to  7 p.m. March 14 at Culver’s, 980 W. U.S. 30, Schererville. Come to donate and receive a Culver's Frozen Custard coupon for one pint of frozen custard.
  • Noon to 4 p.m. March 15 at Family Video, 1520 E. Commercial Ave., Lowell. Come to donate and receive a free video rental.

Also, the Merrillville Donor Center at 791 E. 83rd Ave. is open from 12:30 to 5 p.m. every Monday from 8 a.m. until noon the first and third Saturday of each month.

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