Blood Donation for Students


Becoming involved with BloodCenter of Wisconsin early in life gives you a great start to becoming a life-long contributor to your community. Giving blood is a volunteer opportunity like no other. You are directly contributing to saving lives and enhancing the health of people in your community. Although you probably already know many of the great reasons to give blood, it’s normal to be a little nervous if you haven’t donated before. To help ensure that you have a pleasant experience when you give blood, please read through these suggestions. And it’s not only about blood donation — BloodCenter has several programs that let you contribute in other ways, too.

Am I eligible to donate blood? General eligibility criteria

  • You must be at least 17 years old (16-year-olds may donate with parental consent. For more information, please read Parental Information on Blood Donation.
  • Weigh at least 110 lbs.
  • Be free of major cold, flu, and allergy symptoms
  • Present a photo I.D. with birth date
  • Not have had hepatitis after age 1
  • Not have had any risk factors/behaviors associated with HIV/AIDS 

Additional eligibility criteria for male donors, age 16 to 18:

  • You must weigh 120 lbs. if you are 4′10″
  • You must weigh 115 lbs. if you are 4′11″
  • You must weigh 110 lbs. if you are 5′ or taller      

Additional eligibility criteria for female donors, age 16 to 18:

  • You must weigh 133 lbs. if you are 5′1″
  • You must weigh 129 lbs. if you are 5′2″
  • You must weigh 124 lbs. if you are 5′3″
  • You must weigh 118 lbs. if you are 5′4″
  • You must weigh 115 lbs. if you are 5′5″
  • You must weigh 110 lbs. if you are 5′6″
  • If you are shorter than 5′1″, you may still be eligible to donate blood. 

What to expect when you donate

  • Present your photo ID card.
  • Receive information sheet about donating blood to read.
  • Provide basic personal information such as name, address, phone, and birth date.
  • Answer questions about past and present health history. Don’t worry; this information is kept confidential.
  • Undergo a “mini exam” to determine if you are able to donate (your temperature, blood pressure, heart rate will be measured).
  • Give blood drop to determine blood count level.
  • Sit in a comfortable donor bed near other donors.
  • Answer a few questions and extend the arm you’ll be donating from.
  • Squeeze a ball to keep the blood flowing. Once the needle is in place, it usually takes less than 10 minutes to draw a unit of blood.
  • Occasionally, it may be necessary to lower the upper part of your bed and/or raise your legs.
  • Complete your donation, after which the needle will be removed and a bandage will be applied.
  • Sit and relax for a few minutes to have a snack and a beverage after being escorted to the café.
  • Avoid strenuous physical activity or heavy lifting for a few hours. If you feel light-headed, lie down until you feel better. Students who participate in athletics should wait 12 hours or more before resuming strenuous physical activities.

Ultimate Share ProgramUltimateShare.jpgThe Ultimate Share Program is designed to give recognition to students, faculty and administrators for their support of BloodCenter’s life-saving mission. It is also a unique opportunity for high school students to learn and practice leadership skills that will last a lifetime. The program has three unique components:

  • Developing leadership skills among students
  • Recognizing students at graduation
  • Awarding financial scholarships for higher education 

BloodCenter has developed this distinctive program to teach students to plan, organize, motivate and work within a team to get results. Professionals from BloodCenter will guide students through the process of coordinating a blood drive and offer support every step of the way. The lasting effects will be priceless: students are prepared for future leadership roles in college and beyond while patients in our local hospitals receive life-saving blood and blood products.

Earning an Ultimate Share Honor Cord 

Now is the time to think about the Honor Cord part of the Ultimate Share Program. This is where you can earn points for your involvement in BloodCenter of Wisconsin activities. In the spring of each year, high school seniors can exchange 500 points for an Honor Cord to wear at graduation (if your school allows). The recognition is also a great addition to your resume’, and is a topic you can address in job or college interviews when you want to talk about your community service.
All high school students can qualify for the Honor Cord Program, so start collecting points early! Your points will carry over from year to year so earning enough points for the Honor Cord will be easy. 
How to Earn Points
Points will be automatically added to your online account for the activities listed below. Blood donations can be made at your High School Drive OR at any BloodCenter of Wisconsin community drive or donor center.
Activity                                                               Points Awarded
Whole Blood Donation                                            100
Attemped Donation (deferral)                                  50
3rd donation (or more) in a calendar year                Additional 200
Donate around holidays                                          Additional 200
Donate for first time                                               Additional 100
Provide a working email address                             50
Provide a working cell phone number                       50
See additional opportunities to earn points at Giving for Life.
Here’s what you do.
Make your first blood donation. Following the donation, you will receive a letter in the mail telling
you your blood type and your BloodCenter of Wisconsin Donor I.D. number. Or, call 1-877-BE-A-HERO (877-232-4376).
Use your Donor I.D. number to log into the Giving for Life Recognition Program.
1.  Visit Giving for Life.
2.  Select “Log In” from the list on the left.
3.  Choose the appropriate box for New Donor (without donor ID), Log In or Sign up (with Donor ID) and complete the log in process.
4.  Choose “Giving For Life” from the list on the left. The Recognition Center is where you redeem your points for your Honor Cord.
That’s all you do! Continue donating, and watch your point total increase.



Ultimate Share Scholarship AwardEach month, scholarship awards will be awarded to deserving high schools that host a blood drive. Awards will be given for three categories every month:

  • Total number of lives saved at drive
  • Percent of total participation of high school students
  • Random drawing 
Scholarship Award Criteria and Official Rules

Can I Donate Blood Today?
Whole Blood Donation
You can donate if your last donation was on or before:
Double Red Cell Donation
You can donate if your last donation was on or before:
BCW Impact
BloodCenter impacts patients every day through our commitment to discovery, diagnosis, treatment and cure. Find out how, together with your support, we give hope to others in need.

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