By Raquel Bevien-Cervantes
On Feb. 15, a row of buses filled with empty vials and blood bags line up at the court yard, waiting for students to volunteer themselves to be drained of blood. For the second time this year, JROTC assisted South Texas Blood and Tissue Center to help save lives by hosting the school’s blood drive.
“It’s called self-satisfaction, knowing that you’ve helped the community at large,” army instructor Amador Cano, Jr. said. “We like working with the entire San Antonio community because by doing this, the blood bank here in San Antonio is getting much needed blood that they require.”
This is the fourth year that JROTC has sponsored the blood drives but the commanders do not coordinate this charity at all. In actuality, the cadets of independently run the blood drives. The leaders specifically assign senior battalion executive officer Major Michael Willis to organize the entire event with STBTC.
“JROTC is a strong organized unit,” Willis said. “We are responsible [and] dependable and for years we have executed this blood drive properly.”
The members of JROTC would lead volunteers 16 years of age and up to the blood donation vans from their classes. Once there, the donor would answer a series of questions of their health and personal lifestyles, all the while being well hydrated. Once the contributor prove to be eligible, the technicians will take a pint of the giver’s blood and award a free blood-donating shirt to the benefactor to show that they participated in this meaningful cause.
“Their one donation, just ten minutes of their time on the bed could save three lives,” South Texas Blood and Tissue Center recruiter Marrisa Nicholls said. “You may not know anybody personally yet or you may not have ever used it but don’t you want to make sure that if your family, your loved one or you, personally, are ever hurt that it’s on the shelves for you when you need it?”