Anna Muesing of south Charlotte is planning a blood drive Dec. 28 at StoneCrest Shopping Center that she hopes will earn her another $1,000 scholarship.
Muesing, 18, is on her way to being a blood drive coordinator for the Community Blood Center of the Carolinas.
“Throughout the summer, I held several blood drives for the Community Blood Center’s summer scholarship competition,” she said. “Through this, I heard about the Holidays Heroes program. Helping coordinate these blood drives has been very enjoyable – and it is a way that I can help my community.”
Her summer blood drives, which garnered 59 units, earned her a scholarship from the center, ensuring that she had enough money for school.
The center offers high school and college students a chance to win a Holiday Heroes Scholarship of $1,000. To qualify, students must select a date between Dec. 22-Jan. 6, recruit family, friends and neighbors to donate and collect a minimum of 25 units. The student who collects the most units is awarded the scholarship.
“Our regional blood supply tends to run low during the holiday season,” said Martin Grable, president and CEO of the Community Blood Center of the Carolinas. “Students play a key role in our blood collection efforts as they make up 20 percent of our donor base.”
Muesing, a pre-med and Latin student at Asbury University in Wilmore, Ky., said that every time a person donates a pint of blood, three people are able to receive blood products. Her goal for December’s drive is to reach at least 30 units. “For four years I volunteered at a local hospital,” she said. “I saw firsthand how blood products are used day-to-day, not only in emergency situations, but also every day for cancer and blood disorder patients.
“These patients depend on us to give in order to survive. It would break my heart if a family member suffered because of the lack of blood donations. During the holidays, the next generation should be taught that it is not always about receiving gifts . . . but it is also the giving of gifts.”
Muesing, who grew up near Monroe and Sharon Amity roads, was homeschooled from seventh grade until she graduated earlier this year. One of six children, she notes that has always stayed busy, especially volunteering with the Presbyterian Junior Volunteer Program throughout high school.
“I was able to volunteer and do what I love the most – helping those in need. This experience … opened my eyes to the desperate need for medical staff in local hospitals and beyond. It’s my dream to provide medical care to those who cannot afford it.”
“To make a blood drive successful, you must recruit your family, friends, and neighbors to give. It is the people that you ask personally to give that make a difference. Also homemade cookies and brownies do not hurt.”
Conroy: 704-358-5353; Twitter: @ConroyKathleen
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