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The drive to donate
Blood Drive pic1
Dawson County High senior Shelby Sage prepares to give blood during the Aug. 26 Red Cross drive at the school. - photo by James G. Wolfe Jr. Dawson Community News

Participation was high during a recent blood drive at Dawson County High School.

The Red Cross held the annual event Aug. 26 in the school's gym and more than 100 students donated time and blood for the cause.

"We've had a lot of dedicated students and employees embrace the mission of the Red Cross," Michelle Clarke, the donor recruiter for the organization, said. "We anticipate at least 85 units of blood and each unit has the potential to save up to three lives."

Donna Sanders, the school's health and medical teacher and a registered nurse, was the coordinator for the event. She said the response from students and faculty was overwhelming.

"We have 122 students signed up, plus a waiting list," Sanders said. "And that's not to mention the teachers who just walk in."

Students aged 16 years and older were eligible to donate.

Shelby Sage, a senior, said she decided to donate because of her little brother despite a strong fear of needles.

"He had leukemia when he was small and I felt like I needed to do it for him," Sage said. "I hate needles, but it was something I felt like I needed to do."

Shelby Sage's brother, Josh Sage, is now a freshman at the school.

"He's good now," Shelby Sage said. "But I still felt this was important. I love to give, I just hate the feeling [of needles]."

Despite having no personal connection to the need for blood donation, senior James Carr also came to donate.

"I'm a little bit nervous," Carr said. "But I just feel like I should do this because it's something good for the community."

Sage and Carr were just two of the many students lined up to donate.

Such participation led Sanders to believe the drive would yield far more than the 85 units estimated.

"We're hoping for way more than that," Sanders said. "And so far, I think we're going to get what we're hoping for."