Students encourage blood donation

St. X students form ’56 Day Club’


Record Assistant Editor

Nearly 200 St. Xavier High School
students give blood every year during the school’s annual blood drive. But a few
dozen students have decided that they can do more.

In fact, they can donate blood every 56 days if they want. A group of about 60
students, faculty and parents who want to give as often as possible have formed the “56-day Club” to do just that.

Evan Stovall, a St. Xavier High School junior, reclined as Danielle Dorsey of the American Red Cross prepared to collect blood during a donation drive at the school Feb. 3. (Record Photo by Marnie McAllister)

“It’s awesome how much you can make
a difference by giving an hour of your time,” said Phil Moore, a senior at St. X and
president of the school’s Ryken Service Club. “We know we should give what we can. It’s what Jesus did, and I guess this is following his footsteps.”

Moore said the club is loosely organized with one simple purpose.

“It’s really about getting people to give every two months,” he said during St. X’s blood drive Feb. 3. The club sends email
reminders that alert members when the

56th day approaches. And organizers hope others may be encouraged to join them.

The club began with a donation drive last fall at Zaxby’s restaurant on Blankenbaker Parkway. The restaurant is owned by the family of a 56-day Club member. The restaurant was already hosting drives regularly, so now, every 56 days, St. X students intend to visit the restaurant to give blood together — even during the summer when school’s out.

Moore pointed out that members of the club don’t have to give together — they can go when and where it’s convenient.

“We just want to keep it going and growing,” said Moore. “It doesn’t have to be a St. X thing or a Catholic high school thing. We want to find people in the community who want to help.”

Jordan Strader, who’s also a senior, said giving blood can become habitual.

“If you give once, it will just keep going,” he said. “A lot of people are afraid of the pain and the needle.”

But it’s not that bad, he said, when one considers the benefits.

“It’s a simple act you can do to save someone,” he said. “You could save up to three lives when you do this, so it can make a huge difference.”

Daniel Hart, a representative of the American Red Cross, said during the St. X blood drive that 38 percent of Americans can donate blood anytime. About eight percent of them do.

The drive at St. X, he said, “Is going to save about 600 lives in Louisville. It’s one of our largest high school drives in the county.”

Hart said the students at St. X who created the 56-day Club are a “living example for the community.”

“They’re the pioneers,” he said, noting that a few other schools that have heard about the club are interested in starting a chapter.

Hart added that the Catholic community in general “really comes out in force for us. At a drive scheduled in a Catholic community, you know they’re coming out.”

The American Red Cross has three blood drives scheduled at Catholic churches the weekend of Feb. 25-26. They are:

  • n Feb. 25 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at St. Athanasius Church, 5915 Outer Loop.
  • n Feb. 26 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at St. Patrick Church, 1000 N. Beckley Station Rd.
  • n Feb. 26 from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at St. Agnes Church, 1920 Newburg Road.
 (The Record 2.16.12)
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