Red Cross recognizes St. Pius X for its tremendous contributions at annual blood drives


Staff photo

Math teacher Mrs. Katie Stilson (center) earned recognition from the Red Cross at a school assembly on Friday, September 16 for her efforts organizing our school’s annual blood drives. Former athletic director Mr. Mark Kelly (back center) also shared with students how blood donors saved his life on several occasions as he battled cancer and multiple surgeries throughout his life.

At an all-school assembly on Friday, September 16, the American Red Cross recognized math teacher Mrs. Katie Stilson and the entire St. Pius X student body for their contributions at our annual blood drives.

A representative from the Red Cross explained that Covid restrictions at schools in the Atlanta area impacted their ability to host blood drives. Understanding the critical need for blood, St. Pius remained committed to holding its annual blood drives each semester, and last year our students donated over 500 units of blood and helped more than 1,500 lives.

Students also listened to former athletic director and 1970 St. Pius graduate Mr. Mark Kelly as he told his personal story of how blood saved his life on multiple occasions as he battled cancer and dozens of surgeries throughout his life.

During a life-threatening medical event when he was a young father teaching and coaching at St. Pius in the 1980s, he received 133 units of blood and 42 units in one evening alone. 

“When you need blood, you need blood,” Mr. Kelly said as he explained that there is no substitute. “It was there because angels like you can be gave of themselves. They made the choice to give.”

He then encouraged students to sign up for the fall blood drive, which is Thursday, September 22. 

“I believe that what makes God smile is when individuals perform acts of goodness and kindness when no one knows but them and God,” he said. “That’s what angels do.”