Lowndes County Schools are trying to be more generous than any other school in Georgia and Florida with the most important gift of all -- life.

Students, faculty, parents and other supporters, 18 and older, are asked to donate their blood Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. There is no more personal gift, nor one that can be bought with money.

Lowndes already has a reputation for leading others in this area. Last spring, Lowndes High donated 215 productive units of blood for the American Red Cross. Last fall, the school produced 117 units.

"If we get 250 productive units on Friday, we will be the No. 1 school in the states of Georgia and Florida," said Amy Carter, teacher.

The blood drive is sponsored by Lowndes High School's Diversified Cooperative Training and SkillsUSA VICA (Vocational Industrial Clubs of America Inc.) students.

These students know the satisfaction that comes from giving back to their community. This year, they participated in the United Way Day of Caring, Boy Scouts of America Venturers Program, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America and Adopt a Grandparent.

To help them reach the goal for the blood drive, others need to preregister through a current student or contact Carter at 245-2260, ext. 131, or at aacarter@lowndes.k12.ga.us. All donors will receive a T-shirt.

The process of donation is safe and relatively painless and takes only about 10 minutes, although donors should usually leave about an hour for the whole process.

One unit of donated blood can help save lives of more than one person, according to one Web site. One unit can be separated into several components (such as red cells, platelets and plasma) which can meet the needs of many patients.

Remember, there is no substitute for blood available. Human blood cannot be manufactured and human beings are the only source of blood, which can be used for humans.

Vikings alumni, parents and supporters need to get behind this effort.

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