Texas's blood supply is deficient, with many businesses and schools unable to host blood drives during the COVID shutdowns.
Blood banks around the state have been struggling since the pandemic began. During these unusual times, Sarah Shepherd, a senior at R. L. Turner High School in Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD, stepped up to organize a blood drive with the American Red Cross.
Shepherd heard that area blood banks were critically low due to COVID-19, so she connected with Red Cross and volunteered to host a blood drive as part of the "Leaders Save Lives" program. She wanted to help do something positive to make an impact on her community. Many blood drives at CFBISD schools were canceled in the spring, so Shepherd sprung to action. As a host, Shepherd's role was to identify a venue, promote the event, and ensure pre-committed donors via a digital sign-up to ensure proper staffing at the drive.
For her organized blood drive, Shepherd set a high goal of 100 pints of blood collected. Shepherd reached out to community leaders such as Kevin Falconer, Carrollton Mayor, Robert Dye, Farmers Branch Mayor, John E. Chapman, superintendent for CFBISD, as well as R. L. Turner Principal Adam Grinage, and McCoy Elementary Principal Dawn Rink.
“Each of these leaders and administrators was very supportive of the event,” the district stated. “They helped promote the blood drive with their community and schools. Through her hard work and help from the community, Shepherd achieved her aggressive goal of 100 plus blood collected blood.”
Shepherd said she enjoyed her time partnering with the Red Cross and calls it a privilege to work with their representative, Ashley Wenzel. Shepherd is eligible to win a scholarship from "Leaders Save Lives" for her hard work. However, she knows that the scholarship is nothing compared to saving lives.
Shepherd is a Bio-Med Academy student at R. L. Turner High School. She plans to pursue medicine after graduation.
The blood drive was held Aug. 26 at the Courtyard Marriott in Carrollton. The pints collected will be used in area hospitals and blood banks.