TRENTON, Ohio – DECA club students at Edgewood High School have a head for business and knack for creating a marketing buzz about their campus blood drives. They proved it again by inspiring an army of new donors to support the spring blood drive on April 13 for Community Blood Center.
The DECA volunteers were decked out in matching blue t-shirts and equally dedicated to making the blood drive a positive experience, especially to those donating for the first time. The blood drive reached 104 percent of goal with 113 donors and 83 donations, including a big boost from 45 first-time donors.
DECA, previously known Distributive Education Clubs of America, is an international association of high school and college students interested in business marketing, management and entrepreneurship. Organizing and promoting the blood drive is a favorite DECA project.
“We try to put in the real world instead of just talking about it,” said DECA president Rebekah Moore, a junior who made her second lifetime donation at the blood drive. “The hands-on experience is so beneficial.”
“They put it altogether and promote it in several ways,” said faculty DECA advisor and blood drive coordinator Rocky Chasteen. “They post announcements, we use media, the school app, website and the marquee sign out front. They also talk about it in the classroom during ‘Edge Time,’ which is like a homeroom period, where they can pick-up forms and sign-up.”
First-time donor Jayden Carder said she was motived by DECA students because, “They went to class and talked about.” She was one of many 16-year-old donors who became eligible in time for the spring blood drive.
“You can’t ask other people to donate without doing it yourself,” said Rebekah Moore. “You get people excited. They see how much the school comes together for this cause. They feel positive and say, ‘I can do this.’”
“I actually have kind of a fear of needles,” said senior Jimmy Haney, who made his fourth lifetime donation at Edgewood. “But I do it as a ‘Good Samaritan’ thing to do. I actually look at it like voting. It’s a civic duty thing to do.”
Sophomore Tanner Dugas, who made his second lifetime donation at the spring blood drive, didn’t need convincing.
“When I was young I had a birth defect,” Tanner said after signing his name to the DECA poster display of blood drive donors.
“I almost died. I had to have blood transfusions. If it wasn’t for blood donors I wouldn’t be here. I feel like I want to give back to someone else.”