Blood Bank of Delmarva Teams Up with High School Students in Appoquinimink, Middletown to Replenish the Blood Supply
Two-day blood drive will take place at Middletown Fire Hall
Blood Bank of Delmarva (BBD) is partnering with high school students from the Appoquinimink School District to hold a two-day blood drive on Wednesday, March 24 and Saturday, March 27.
The blood drive is scheduled for 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on both Wednesday and Saturday at Middletown Fire Hall, 27 W Green St., Middletown, DE 19709. To make an appointment, please call 1-888-8-BLOOD-8 or visit www.delmarvablood.org.
Student groups from both Appoquinimink High School and Middletown High are organizing the blood drive as a work-based Capstone Project. Appoquinimink and Middletown high schools are two of the biggest schools in the state of Delaware, and they can ordinarily be counted on for sizeable blood drives during the fall and spring semesters. High schools and colleges usually account for 25 percent of the blood BBD collects during a normal school year. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the overwhelming majority of school blood drives were canceled.
Appoquinimink High School students Alyssa Avallone, Madeline Olivas, Alyssa Martinez, Jordan Berk, Megan Joynt and Olivia Stephen and Middletown High School students Kyana Fisher, Laura Castillo, Kimara Karmo and Autumn Brown have spearheaded this blood drive.
“We are hosting this community blood drive as a friendly competition between Appoquinimink High School and Middletown High School,” the students said in a joint statement. “We hope to spread awareness regarding the need for blood and plasma due to the pandemic.”
“This blood drive is very important for our community because due to the pandemic our blood banks have not received the amount of donations that they typically collect, causing a blood shortage,” the students added. “Blood shortages can be really dangerous because the need for blood never changes. Community and school blood drives have been put on pause for safety precautions and now that we have found a way to safely host a blood drive, it is important that we get as many donors as possible to help save the lives of people in our communities.”
It takes at least 350 donors a day to keep BBD’s inventory stocked and at optimal, seven-day supply levels for all blood types. All blood types are needed, especially types O and B.
“Pandemic or not, we have to keep 19 hospitals in Delmarva stocked with the lifesaving blood products they need for patients,” said Mary Moore, Account Manager at Blood Bank of Delmarva. “We hope to book 93 appointments for the first day and 82 appointments for the second day. These students give us hope.”
BBD’s Moore has been working with the students as a virtual mentor for their Capstone Projects. In addition to planning the Blood Drive, the students have had guest speakers from the BBD present at their weekly meetings. The students have learned about the science and need for blood and plasma donations, human resources, marketing, and leadership. Dr. Chandlee Kuhn at Appoquinimink High School, and Mrs. Debbie Kirk, at Middletown High School are the Work-Based Learning Specialists working with Ms. Moore to provide this Work-Based Learning experience for the students during the pandemic.
“We are proud of this group of Seniors in Appoquinimink School District,” Dr. Kuhn said. “Despite the challenges of the pandemic, they have persevered and chosen to give back to the community through this blood drive. And thanks to the Blood Bank of Delmarva, the students truly understand how important this Blood Drive is for their community.”
The program has been accessible to the students during both remote and hybrid learning throughout the school year. Although not all of the students will be able to participate in person at the Blood Drive, each student played a part in planning the event. The students are working with Dr. Kuhn, Ms. Kirk, Ms. Moore and many businesses in the Middletown area to spread the word about this upcoming blood drive. In addition, as part of their Capstone Project each student has conducted research and will give a presentation in the spring.