Drives that change lives

By Gabi Etchison, 
FCHS journalism student

According to the American Red Cross, every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood and or platelets, so donating blood can literally save someone’s life. If you are looking to donate blood, the blood drives at Fluvanna County High School are an easy way to do so. These drives are coordinated through EMS-certified FCHS seniors working with the Red Cross under the direction of EMS Instructor Sharon Payne. These students include Gracie Clifton, Sammie Ngov, Jay Lyons, Kayla Gentry, and Hailey Carter.  

Since the beginning of the 2022-2023 school year, 179 pints of blood have been donated from these drives, and the EMS team is hoping for that number to grow in future drives. “We have upcoming drives on May 4 (during school – this one will be Star Wars-themed), May 21 at Lake Monticello Fire Department, and two drives in June that are in memory of Dakota Rigsby, a former FCHS student who perished in the USS Fitzgerald naval ship accident,” said Payne.

Some donors are regulars. “Everyone benefits from giving blood if they are able. You get the satisfaction of doing something selfless, and someone will have a chance to get healthier because of your actions,” said recent donor and FCHS teacher Jason Davis.

There are several reasons people may choose to give blood. “I donate frequently because I am CMV-negative and my blood can be used for premature babies,” said another recent donor and FCHS teacher Amy Richardson. 

Davis said that donating blood at FCHS is a great experience because “it is nice to see a new generation of donors giving their time and literally their blood to help others.” As for Richardson, she said that “the phlebotomist who cared for me was awesome.”

In future blood drives, the EMS team would like to see more donors from the community in addition to FCHS staff and students.  “Consider one of three ways to support this blood drive: roll up your sleeves and donate; support those who donate by volunteering; or pledge to support our efforts by posting to your social networks about this great community initiative,” said Payne.  “There are many ways you can help, but most importantly we hope you come out to donate.  Thank you for helping us meet this new goal and add it to our list of great accomplishments,” she added.

In order to give blood, you must be 16 years or older, and weigh at least 110 pounds. If you’d like to give blood at the high school, you can go to this link to schedule an appointment (search for sponsor code FCHS). Or you can email

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