When Savannah Dupree and Cassidy Fuller were looking around for a way to serve their community they batted around several ideas before they finally fell back on their own experiences at Rolesville High School to create a project of their own.
Both Fuller and Dupree had taken health science classes and participated in school-based blood drives, so they decided to replicate that effort in Zebulon at their church. On June 24, they put on their first blood drive. Red Cross officials later told them they were surprised at the size of the event considering it was organized by teens.
“It went really well. We had a goal of collecting 30 pints and we collected 34. We had 14 first-time donors, which the Red Cross people said was a lot for a blood drive,” Dupree said. “We had 47 people signed up. Some of them didn’t get to come for one reason or another, but we had several walk-ins so it really evened out.”
Dupree and Fuller began their effort by talking with Danielle Stogner, the teacher at Rolesville High School who organized the blood drives at the school. She put them in touch with the Red Cross, which handled many of the details the day of the event. One of the biggest challenges they faced was finding a date they could do it that worked for both the Red Cross and the church. “We had hoped to do it earlier in June before school got out and people started going on vacation, but it worked out well,” Dupree said.
The idea for the blood drive was multidimensional, Fuller said. “We want to do something to make a difference and I think this will help us stand out on our college applications, too,” Fuller said. “I think this is something that will stand up. Most of the drives are held by people at schools. We had some people tell us this was the closest blood drive they had seen to where they lived.”
Aside from settling on a date and a place, Fuller and Dupree spent a lot of time soliciting donors and people to help the day of the drive. “We mainly just asked people we knew would volunteer. We put something on Facebook and got some volunteers that way. Other people saw it in the church bulletin or heard about it from someone,” Dupree said.
Fuller credits the Red Cross with a lot of the success for the event. “The Red Cross was a huge help. We met with a lady from the Red Cross and we emailed her a lot. Everything just kind of flowed. Our Red Cross coordinator told us what it was going to be like and made some fliers that we could put out,” Fuller said. “When they got there that day, the Red Cross team helped us get everything set up.”
The event went so smoothly, in fact, Fuller and Dupree hope to hold another event in December.