Josie Peters of Clifton helped save lives by hosting an American Red Cross blood drive this summer and earned a $2,500 scholarship because of her lifesaving efforts.
As part of the Red Cross Leaders Save Lives program, the Kankakee Community College student hosted a blood drive at Ashkum Coliseum on June 19, 2018, which collected 150 blood donations. As a result, Peters was entered in a drawing to win a scholarship and was chosen as a winner. Peters was also awarded a gift card.
Peters anticipates graduating in May 2019 with an Associate’s degree from Kankakee Community College and has plans to further her education at Illinois State University in the field of Speech Language Pathology.
Peters has been assisting the Red Cross Ashkum Community Blood Drive since she was of preschool age. At that time, she helped with responsibilities like replacing placements, napkins and refilling the cookie platers in the canteen area at blood drives.
Fast forwarding to present times, as a blood drive coordinator, Peters decided to participate in the Leaders Save Lives program to make a positive impact in her community. “I have gained a greater understanding of the value of community and the appreciation of hard work. A blood drive cannot be successful without the support of the surrounding community,” said Peters. “When you’re working a blood drive, you don’t think about what you can get out of it, you’re thinking about the good you’re doing for others.”
When Peters found out that she won the scholarship she felt an enormous amount of gratitude. Peters encourages other students to host a blood drive, and tells them to think personally about the people they know and love. “Anything can happen to anyone where they may be in direct need of blood. It may not be your friend or family member that needs blood, but it is someone’s loved one that you would be helping by hosting a drive,” Peters added.
Blood donors from high school and college blood drives account for about 20 percent of donations given through the Red Cross during the school year. Many of these blood donors do not give when school is not in session during the summer months and the winter holidays - a time when an overall decline in donations can often occur. The Leaders Save Lives program encourages community-minded high school and college students to host blood drives to help maintain the blood supply during these crucial times of the year.