West Charlotte High School Army JROTC Blood Drive

Story by: LTC (R) Darryl A. Owens, CSM (R) Alphonso Moten, and SFC (R) Isaac White
Photos by: Ms. Kiara Marshall

West Charlotte High School JROTC conducted a Blood Drive in conjunction with the West Charlotte High School Health Science department in support of the American Red Cross. The Blood Drive took place on 2 November 2023. Cadet 2LT Adia Barnes served as the point person for West Charlotte High School JROTC. Cadet SGT Star McClain served as the liaison between JROTC and the Health Science department. Ms. Catherinne Harrigan represented the American Red Cross and provided the medical team to conduct the actual blood draw.

The battalion staff decided to conduct a Blood Drive for the Service Learning project during Staff Camp in late June of 2023. The decision was made primarily as a consideration of its potential impact on the surrounding community. In addition, “The American Red Cross declared a national blood shortage on Sept. 11, citing a critically low blood supply level that dropped nearly 25% since early August.”
The Blood Drive served as a Service Learning project for the West Charlotte High JROTC program. It also served the purpose of providing a vital resource for the community in addition to providing an opportunity for Cadets to learn some valuable life skills. The Blood Drive took planning, coordination, organization, teamwork, and a sense of cooperation.

The goal of the Blood drive was to collect 20 units of blood. In order to collect the 20 units of blood, the team calculated that it would take 50 potential donors signed up to reach the goal of 20 units. At the end of the drive, the final count for West Charlotte High School JROTC units was 27, this exceeded our goal by 7 units.

The Blood Drive was an overall success on many levels. On one level and most importantly, the drive collected much-needed blood in a shortage environment. Another level of success came in the way of the teamwork and collaboration fostered between the JROTC program and the Health Science program. Having Cadet McClain serve as the liaison played a vital role in the success of the project. Her knowledge of both programs was the key to a much smoother operation. This knowledge helped to bridge the gap between the programs and Cadet McClain ensured that there were clear lines of communication and responsibility.
West Charlotte High School will continue to assist in supporting the needs of our community while taking advantage of the lessons learned in the process.