St. Pius X receives award from American Red Cross

School recognized as "Blood Sponsor Group of the Year"


Staff photo

Seniors Nick Nowack and Emma Foy sit at the snack table after donating blood last spring. Their contributions helped St. Pius X earn the "Blood Sponsor Group of the Year" award from the American Red Cross.

Heroes like Spiderman and Superman are portrayed all the time in movies and on TV, but you don’t need to have superpowers or risk your life to actually rescue someone. Every person on this planet has the power to save lives by simply donating blood. 

Over 400 schools in Georgia host annual blood drives to help save countless lives, and every year the American Red Cross recognizes one of these schools as the “Blood Sponsor Group of the Year” for their long-standing relationship with the American Red Cross and blood donations. St. Pius X was recently announced as the 2019 recipient of the award. In a brief ceremony after an all-school Mass in August, representatives from the Red Cross presented the school with a plaque for their meaningful work, noting that St. Pius had donated 4,200 units of blood and saved 13,000 lives since 2003. 

St. Pius holds two blood drives each school year and collects on average between 150 to 175 units of blood during each drive. The Red Cross estimates that for every unit of blood, up to three lives could be saved, which would mean that our student body could potentially save between 900 and 1,050 lives every year.

Facilitators of the blood drives at St. Pius include former athletic director Mr. Mark Kelly, math teacher Mrs. Katie Stilson, counselor Mrs. Mary Pat Martin, American Red Cross representatives, and parent volunteers. When asked about the importance of St. Pius holding these blood drives, Mr. Kelly responded that blood “is the gift of life. Our faith tells us that giving to others is what God wants us to do.” 

“At every single blood drive, we have held over the years, there is always a student who has never given, who I can tell by the look on their face is just scared to death,” he went on to explain. “Often, one of our teachers or parents has to stay with them, hold their hand, and get them through the process. And then it happens. The smile. The ‘new’ look on their face. They know they have done something that is filled with goodness. They know, for someone, somewhere, they have become their Angel. That feeling never goes away!” 

What would he say to a student who is on the fence about giving blood? 

“Think for a second about that little child, often bald, who is battling cancer,” he said. “The blood you will give, may allow them to someday, be a St. Pius X Golden Lion. Your decision to give is making a difference. It is making that child smile, and it is making God smile.” 

The next opportunity for the students to be a superhero is October 3, with another blood drive also scheduled for April 2. Look for announcements and more information soon about how to sign up and make a life-saving difference in someone’s life.