Sunday, May 26, 2024

AHS students top blood donors in North Texas

Azle High School recognized at Carter BloodCare awards ceremony


AZLE — Azle High School has been recognized by Carter BloodCare as the number one 5A High School in North Texas for 2023 blood donations. This award is for the total number of units collected from Jan. 1 through Dec. 31.

During that time, AHS hosted four blood drives and collected 411 units of blood, including 299 units of whole blood, 101 units of red blood cells, and 11 plasma units. In total, the blood collected from AHS students and staff has the potential to save up to 1,009 lives. In 2023, AHS had a total of 244 first-time donors.

The city of Azle has long been recognized by Carter BloodCare as one of its most giving communities and a reliable partner for life saving donations. Other local organizations, like the Azle Area Ministerial Alliance, have won similar awards in the past.

AHS teacher and student council advisor Chad Cooke appeared along with student council members to accept an award at a recent Carter BloodCare 2024 North Texas annual donor recognition event hosted at Billy Bob’s Texas in Fort Worth.

“The student council is fortunate enough to work in a school community that is supportive in endeavors to save lives,” Cooke said. “From the custodians who assist in setting up and cleaning up to our maintenance team that ensures optimal temperature conditions, and, most importantly, to the students and staff who generously donate life-saving blood and plasma, we are immensely grateful. We are also grateful our administration allows us to host four blood drives rather than the average two to three drives other schools host. Thanks to all of these factors the Azle Student Council was able to organize and donate 411 units to Carter Blood Care for the 2023 year.”

While blood is needed throughout the year, there’s no better time to recognize donors than April. April is National Donate Life Month. This month was established to raise awareness about donating and honor those who have saved lives through the gift of blood donation.

Carter BloodCare is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that operates in approximately 50 Texas counties. It is one of the largest blood centers in operation in the United States. High schools contribute about 25% of the blood donated locally and are an invaluable part of the blood supply for patients in Texas.

High school student donors must be at least 17 years old (or 16 years old with parental consent) to donate, must weigh at least 110 pounds and be in good general health. A photo ID is required to donate. Students with a tattoo or body piercing can donate blood if the procedure was performed in a licensed Texas facility. No wait time is required. Carter BloodCare urges that donors eat a good meal and drink plenty of fluids prior to and after their donation. Fluids and snacks will also be available on-site before and after the donation. Lastly, health professionals recommend donors avoid strenuous activity for at least 24 hours after donating.

While high schools are an invaluable resource, adults can also help by donating at blood centers or mobile blood drives happening throughout the community. The Azle Lions Club will host a blood drive for the Red Cross at 412 Commerce St. Friday, April 12 from 1-6 p.m. The City of Springtown will host a blood drive at 200 North Main St. in Springtown April 12 for Carter BloodCare. To find future Carter BloodCare mobile blood donation sites near you visit