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“It helps people:” How students could win scholarship money for organizing blood drives

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- When you're trying to pay your way through college, every little bit counts. If you know a local high school student up for organizing a blood drive, he or she could win a scholarship.

When Amanda MacArthur turned 16, she wanted to give blood on her birthday. That is how she ended up as the Red Cross student volunteer blood drive coordinator at MPS' MacDowell Montessori School.

"It's not as scary as people think, it's easy and it helps people in the long run," said MacArthur.

Through volunteering she found out about the American Red Cross High School Scholarship Program. Through the program, high schools and their students have the opportunity to help others, while also establishing a scholarship fund to benefit engaged students as they move on to higher education. The scholarship program is available for high schools who host at least one Red Cross blood drive during the school year.

Amanda works with a donor recruitment rep to make this blood drive a success. Each pint of blood adds up to a dollar amount the she can put toward college. Amanda only has a few more pints to go before she reaches the first level of the scholarship, where she would get $250. The maximum amount is $ 2,500.

"Every little bit that can help make her freshman year a success, we are so thankful for," said Andrea Corona, MacDowell Montessori School Principal.

The blood drive helps MacArthur and means a lot to Red Cross blood banks around the country. They have to replenish their stock after harsh winter weather, especially on the East Coast -- where they were forced to cancel about 200 blood drives.

"On a daily basis, across the country, we need to collect about 15 thousand units of blood. So when you think about those blood drives that were cancelled, that will put an impact on those daily counts," said Katie Gaynor, American Red Cross.

Amanda, who wants to be in the Peace Corps someday, know she's making a difference.

"It helps people out in the end and is all for a good cause," said MacArthur.

Eligible donors can schedule an appointment to give blood by using the Blood Donor App, visiting redcrossblood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

Related information:

  • Through the American Red Cross High School Scholarship Program, high schools and their students have the opportunity to help others, while also establishing a scholarship fund to benefit engaged students as they move on to higher education. The scholarship program is available for high schools who host at least one Red Cross blood drive during the school year.
  • Engaged students serve as the volunteer Blood Drive Coordinator where they will organize the blood drive, recruit blood donors and volunteers and volunteer the day of the blood drive.
  • The Red Cross will provide a monetary award to be used for an educational scholarship at establishments of higher education for a selected recipient(s).
  • Scholarships will be awarded based on the total productive pints collected between August 1 and May 31.
  • The scholarship will be awarded in the recipient’s name to the institution of higher education that the student will attend.
  • Students interested in coordinating a summer blood drive can earn gift cards and possibly a scholarship. They can visit redcrossblood.org/leaderssavelives for more information.

Here is the break down for scholarship amounts:

Total Units Collected 8/1/2015 -5/31/2016 Scholarship Amount
35 - 70 pints $250
71 - 100 pints $500
101 - 150 pints $750
151 - 200 pints $1,000
201+ pints $2,500

1 Comment

  • Steven MacArthur

    I am incredibly proud of this young lady-and not just because she’s my daughter, but she’s also growing up to be a very fine Milwaukeean!

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