Student Age Requirements
The minimum age to donate is 16 or 17 years old, depending on the state you live in. Too young to donate blood? Find other ways to help!
- Host a blood drive for students at your school.
- Host a blood drive for teachers and parents at your school.
- Promote awareness by learning about blood and blood donation.
- Show what you know in your next biology project!
Host a Blood Drive at Your School
Ask your principal or teacher about hosting a blood or other blood-related activities at your school.
The information provided will help you get started. The most important thing to remember is that your commitment is to find the donors; your local community blood center will do the rest! The earlier you start organizing, the better!
Delegation of the tasks involved in organizing a blood drive not only makes the job easier, it builds teamwork and gives more people the opportunity to get involved. Create a committee by nominating four responsible students. These students in turn nominate other students to help them.
Responsibilities of Each Blood Drive Committee Member
Faculty Advisor (Teacher)
- Choose the student leadership.
- Contact America's Blood using the zip code locator box feature under the banner to find the community blood center in your area. Please Note: America's Blood Centers' member blood centers are independently owned and therefore each has an individualized name generally reflective of the area it serves. If you are unable to find a community blood center in your area when searching our site, you may contact the American Red Cross at 1-800-Red Cross.
- Meet with the representative of the local blood center and the principal of your school to set up a date for the blood drive.
- Set up meetings with the blood drive committee.
- Check on the progress of the student leadership.
Blood Drive Coordinator
- Contact parents, faculty, and staff and ask them to donate.
- Make announcements to students prior to the blood drive as a reminder.
- Ensure that all chairpersons carry out their responsibilities.
Donor Recruitment Chairperson
- Form a team of students who will recruit student donors. Your team should know the importance of blood donation, be familiar with the typical reasons why people do not donate, and understand who can donate blood.
- When a student volunteers to donate blood, they need to make an appointment to donate blood during the blood drive. Get the student's home phone number so you can contact them the day beforehand to remind them of their appointment. This is easily accomplished by distributing pledge cards to and collecting them from all those who meet eligibility requirements. Explain that the pledge card per se does not automatically sign them up to donate; the blood center will follow up to schedule an appointment to donate at the school blood drive. The Donor Recruitment Chairperson will also select a high-traffic area to set up a sign-up table to answer questions and distribute appointment cards.
- Promote and publicize the blood drive through posters, school publications, and announcements.
- Community blood centers will provide posters with the date and information for your blood drive printed on them. Find out where you can place these posters at your school. Get permission from your principal before putting up posters or passing out fliers.
- Obtain deadline for getting a story in the school newspaper. The blood center will give you personal stories from people whose lives have been saved through blood donation. Weave these feature stories with facts about blood donation dispelling the common myths, which can also be provided by your local community blood center. If possible, include quotes from donors.
- Coordinate with your principal and blood center to see if an assembly can be held to increase the awareness of the entire student body for the need for blood donations.
- Encourage the PTA to get involved to solicit parent blood donations during the blood drive.
- As a group brainstorm ways to encourage your friends who are of eligible age to donate blood. However, be aware that there are many reasons an individual may not be able to donate blood (medications, medical conditions, high-risk behaviors, etc.) and some of those reasons are very personal. You must recognize that if someone chooses not to donate, they should not be pressured or coerced into donating because that could compromise the safety of the blood supply and because blood donation is a personal decision which needs to be respected. Individuals who cannot or do not want to donate may contribute to the blood drive in many other ways by educating others about the need, passing fliers, signing up donors for appointments, staffing the blood drive canteen, etc.
- Ask your teachers if you can make an announcement before your classes or over the intercom about the blood drive. Make the announcement personal: Include in your announcement what you have learned about the importance of blood donation.
Site Preparation Chairperson
- Make sure the area being used for the blood drive is ready. In most cases, with variations depending on the size of the blood drive and the requirements of your local community blood center, a 25' by 30' room at a comfortable temperature of 65-68 degrees is needed for the blood drive. See the typical set up (PDF 159KB) for a mobile blood drive. The room must be clean and clear of furniture on the day of the drive and have several electric outlets available.
- Arrange for Bloodmobile parking on level ground close to an entrance and have this space blocked off on the day of the drive and report the location to the faculty advisor and blood drive coordinator.
- Ensure that tables and chair are available and placed in a low-traffic are for sign-in.