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Heartland hosts scholarship contest for young blood donors

Published: Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014 9:51 a.m. CDT

High school and college students account for about 25 percent of Heartland’s volunteer blood donors. In appreciation of its young donors, Heartland Blood Centers is offering all eligible 17-to-21-year-olds the chance to earn one of five $1,000 Students Saving Lives Scholarships.  

To be eligible for the scholarship, a student must make at least one successful blood donation at any Heartland mobile blood drive or center location between Sept. 1 and Dec. 31, 2014. Family and friends can also donate on behalf of the student.

To qualify, all blood donors must download an entry form at www.heartlandbc.org and submit completed form at the time of their blood donation.  Detailed contest information is on Heartland’s website.

“We offered a similar scholarship opportunity for high school and college students this summer to help offset summer blood shortages. Due to the overwhelming response, we have decided to offer this second scholarship opportunity to our generous young blood donors,” said Dennis Mestrich, CEO and president of Heartland Blood Centers. “The scholarship opportunity not only helps to further the education of students, but more importantly, it helps to save the lives of patients of all ages who require blood transfusions. It’s a win-win for the students who donate blood and those patients who receive the blood products.”

Heartland Blood Centers is a nonprofit medical organization providing transfusion medical services to 57 hospitals in northeast Illinois and northwest Indiana. Patients in the 57 area hospitals who rely on Heartland for all of their transfusion needs require more than 600 units every day for their surgery and treatment.

After assuring that these patients’ blood needs are met, Heartland maintains a limited surplus supply of blood products on hand to respond to local or national emergencies.

Blood donors receive free mini-medical exams on site, including information about their temperature, pulse rate, blood pressure and hemoglobin level.  

To be a blood donor, individuals must be at least 17 years old, or 16 with written parental permission; weigh at least 110 pounds; be symptom free of cold, flu and allergies; and be in general good health. Donors who have traveled outside the United States within the past 12 months should contact Heartland at 1-800-7TO-GIVE to determine eligibility.

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