Bullard High School supports blood drive

FRESNO, Calif.

With the music blaring, Bullard High School students kicked off their annual blood drive with a unique approach, to create an atmosphere where teens and the community could have some fun while donating the gift of life.

Blood Drive Co-Chair Mary Taylor said, "We kind of make it like a rally. We have a lot of food, we have a hang out area and a lot of people come with their friends so it's a fun thing to do."

The rock and roll up your sleeve blood drive was part of this year's senior class community service event, but it also hit home for many students as one of their own classmates - Shaela Warkentin - she once needed life-saving help.

Taylor said, "Our sophomore year we had one of our classmates involved in a really bad car accident, she was in the hospital. So I think I think people can understand why we're doing this and they can have a personal relationship to why it's important."

The need is especially great right now since the California Department of Public Health says the flu virus is still widespread in the state, preventing many people from donating.

Central CA Blood Center Donor Recruiter Laura Geuvjehizian said "The flu did impact us earlier in the year and we're still about 20 percent below our inventory right now. So we're slowly bringing it back up."

The students at Bullard were excited to help as the blood center received some much needed blood.

This is the 13th year for the blood drive at Bullard High School, and organizers say more and more students continue to turn out to help the community."

Bullard Junior Donovan Whittle said, "I want to donate blood and all of my friends were talking about it. So I wanted to try it and why not help someone that needs it?"

Whittle donated blood for the first time and said it was neat to see the impact he could make here at home in the Valley.

Blood drive organizers hope to raise 500 pints of blood, but know each pint will make a difference in someone's life.

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