Granite Quarry Elem blood drive
By Lee Ann Sides Garrett
Cole McGraw grimaced when he saw the needle.
The second-grader stood wide-eyed as he held his mother’s hand while the Red Cross worker prepared her arm.
“I give blood at the hospital all the time,” said Lois McGraw “Cole is curious about what’s going to happen. He wants to watch me get stuck.”
The media center at Granite Quarry Elementary School was filled with almost as many students as adults giving blood.
The blood drive, sponsored by the elementary school’s student government, was a first for the school and drew a much larger crowd than expected.
Student government representatives rallied students to sign up adults to give blood, and 55 adults signed up.
By the time the drive was half over, more than 20 walk-ins pushed the turnout to almost 80.
Patty Helms, the student government adviser, said the drive is the result of a very active SGA.
“Their big project is usually Relay for Life,” Helms said. “But this group wanted to do this as well. I give them choices for activities, and they want to do them all.”
Helms said the Red Cross provided literature and activities to educate the students about how blood is used. SGA members served as greeters, holding signs and giving directions and manning the canteen, preparing snacks and handing out T-shirts to those who gave blood.
After holding his mother’s hand, Cole held the hand of his first-grade teacher, Amy Stokes. Stokes said her conversation with Cole was particularly meaningful. When she asked him what they do with the blood, Cole responded, “They give it to sick people and people who are in accidents.”
Stokes and Cole discussed the accident he and his mother were in recently. They weren’t hurt, but the other people involved were.
“Holding this in a school is perhaps profound,” said Stokes. “Kids don’t normally get to come to blood drives. We’re educating parents and children at the same time.”
“Oooo, that’s cool,” Cole said, watching Stokes’ blood bag fill up.
“Guess what?” he said. “You’ve almost given a whole tank.”