JROTC hosts December blood drive


Tarsha Spuel taking Kenner Smith’s blood. (Photo by Merrit Hartsell)

Merritt Hartsell, Staff Writer

Homewood High School’s Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps sponsored this year’s blood drive with the American Red Cross in the practice gym last Friday.

Seventy-three people signed up to give blood prior to the drive, with more students and faculty walking up throughout the day. 59% of donors were first-time donors. Fifty-seven total units of blood were collected, which exceeded the JROTC’s goal by six. 

To begin the process, the American Red Cross lays out operating chairs and blood work systems. Different team members then spend the day working with students, teachers, and other volunteers giving blood.

Shadow Williamson, a member of JROTC, said the cadets at HHS enjoy helping run the event. “We really get to help the community and build leadership and team skills,” she said.  

The JROTC has been planning and working with the Red Cross for months before the blood drive. The members of JROTC worked the entrance table and helped everyone participating, along with providing snacks and water to nourish those who donated. 

For weeks leading up to it, JROTC had a table set up in the lunchroom to register students for the drive. Angela Jackson, a Red Cross employee, was also stationed in the school to help students sign up. 

Jackson has worked for the Red Cross for many years and is HHS’s representative for the blood drive. She partnered with JROTC this past year and has been working with the Beta Club for four years. 

“It’s important to give because we never know when we will be on the receiving end,” Jackson said. Jackson encouraged all students to sign up and donate blood at the next blood drive, which will take place on April 12th, 2023. 

Several Red Cross volunteers helped during the event. Tarsha Spuel, the team supervisor, and one of the workers taking blood. She has been an employee of the Red Cross for 17 years.

“Giving blood is important because we cannot manufacture blood. One out of three individuals needs blood in their lifetime.”

The JROTC encourages all Homewood students and faculty to volunteer and get involved in the next blood drive.