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February 01, 2011

Members of the Clerc Center and Gallaudet communities responded to the Clerc Center-sponsored Random Acts of Kindness Blood Drive on January 21 by giving the gift of life. Each blood donation saves four lives.

The Clerc Center has been sponsoring the blood drive since 2005. Random Acts of Kindness coordinator and Kendall Demonstration Elementary School (KDES) counselor Heidi Zornes was particularly impressed with the response to this year’s drive. “We had 30 potential donors sign up, and some people were walk-in donors,” she said.  The Red Cross set up the blood donation unit in the KDES gym from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. A donation specialist evaluated candidates for suitability–those who had been sick in the previous two weeks, for example, or with a low iron count, weren’t permitted to donate. But the majority of the volunteers were able to give blood.

“We exceeded our target goal of 20 successful donors: our final count was 24!” said Zornes. “I want to express appreciation to everyone who came out and supported our drive. Donors included KDES and MSSD [Model Secondary School for the Deaf] staff, MSSD students, Gallaudet staff, parents of KDES students, and residents of the community. It was truly a campus-wide community effort. All donors received free T-shirts and fleece blankets for their act of kindness.”

Donors gave different reasons for participating. Some give every year, and some were new to the experience. MSSD student Erica Gilliam said she donated because “it’s needed, and it’s the right thing to do.” The Clerc Center plans to sponsor another Random Acts of Kindness Blood Drive this fall.
Get more information on Red Cross donations.
–Susan M. Flanigan

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