by Lisa Tome
Francisco Avila has never liked needles.
A sure fire way to overcome his fear for Avila was to face it.
Recently, for the second time, as part of Elkton High School's annual blood drive, Avila donated.
"It's for a good cause. You need to help others sometimes," said Avila. "It's for a good cause and it doesn't hurt."
Another way that he kept his fears at bay, was taking photos of his donation with his cell phone. He was then sending that photo to his friends.
"I'm giving blood for the first time. It doesn't really hurt. Blood is vital for survival and I can make new blood," said student Mackenzie Feeny.
The event at Elkton High, which benefits Blood Bank of the Delmarva, is overseen by student council advisors Brianna Dundore and Christine Chase. Most of the 75 available appointments were filled.
"Our big push is that it all goes to the local area. The blood bank helps us get the kids educated. They are looking for lifelong donors," said Chase. In order to give, students have to be at least 17, weigh 110, and not have any piercings or tattoos within a year.
Alexis Crouse is a first time donor. "It's a good thing to do. I was nervous. But it didn't hurt as bad as I thought it was going to," said Crouse.
Michael Stine said he felt a personal connection to donating. "My brother was hospitalized. A lot of people need blood," said Stine.
Koree Shay, president of the student council, opted to watch from the sidelines. She did her work before blood drive day. She actively recruited donors.
"It's important to gets students to donate and help others in need. But I'm not donating. I'm scared of needles," said Shay.
Maura Muldoon, vice president of the student council, had looked forward to giving. On donor day, her temperature was too high. "But this makes students feel like they are doing something important - like they are part of something bigger," said Muldoon.