Fulton Middle School hosted an emergency blood drive Friday to help battle the Red Cross' blood shortages.
Members of FMS' student council organized the blood drive. Barb Barko, FMS' student council advisor, said she was pleased with the turnout seen throughout the day at the drive.
"The turnout has been better than I anticipated," Barko said. "I know they've had people waiting for most of the day. I've been waiting for it to die down so I could donate blood, but it hasn't died down yet."
According to Barko, the Red Cross wanted at least 20 blood donors at the drive.
When she checked about halfway through the four-hour drive, 18 had donated already. The drive was open to the general public, who made up a majority of donors, Barko said, but some faculty and staff members of FMS also contributed.
Barko said FMS typically hosts one blood drive per year in the winter. However, this drive was an emergency due to blood shortages by the American Red Cross.
"(The Red Cross) asked if the middle school would host a blood drive this summer," she said.
Student council members directed traffic at the blood drive and worked the check-in tables. Barko said the students were not eligible to donate due to age restrictions. However, they used the drive as an opportunity to pick up required community service hours.
"We try to teach and instill community service in our kids, and this is an opportunity for them to see how they can help out," Barko explained.
FMS alums Kylie Lane and her husband, Travis Lane, said they try to participate in blood drives as much as they can.
"It just feels good to help other people," Kylie Lane said.
"I think most people know there are blood shortages everywhere, so if you're healthy enough to donate and have the time to donate, why not?" Travis Lane added.
According to the American Red Cross, they currently have less than a five-day supply of blood on hand. Their goal is to have a five-day supply at all times.
"The Red Cross continues to have an emergency need for blood and platelet donors to give now and help save patient lives," said Christy Peters, an ARC external communications manager, in a press release. "We are grateful for those who have already stepped up this summer to give and want to remind those who are eligible that hospital patients are still counting on them to roll up a sleeve."
Barko said each donor can save three lives per donation as their blood is split into three separate bags