Benson Elementary hosted the school’s first community donor drive to increase awareness and support for the American Red Cross and the Be the Match Bone Marrow Registry Foundation.
School staff, parents, and community members made up the more than 40 donors who participated in the drive that collected 38 units of life saving blood.
The school used the Pint-Size Hero Program to register donors for appointments to donate blood that is in high demand and short supply during the summer months when many families are on vacation. The American Red Cross developed the Pint-Size Hero Program to involve elementary school students in organizing blood drives.
Sue Ellen Dowler, a teacher at Benson Elementary, organized the drive and the Be the Match Registry in honor of a former student who recently received a bone marrow transplant.
In an effort to get the entire community involved, Dowler made the event an outreach to the South Johnston Consortium feeder pattern of schools, which includes Benson Elementary, Benson Middle, Four Oaks Elementary, Four Oaks Middle, Meadow School, and South Johnston High.
The American Red Cross donated prizes and certificates that were awarded to each student who submitted the name of a donor, which made that student a Pint-Size Hero.
Benson Elementary Principal Takicey Dunston donated to the cause, and said she hopes to make the drive an annual event at the school.