More than 500 students and faculty signed up to donate blood at Colquitt County High School, and a spokesperson with the Southeastern Community Blood Center says a new policy allows 16-year-olds to donate blood with parent permission.
Sixteen-year-old Whitlee Cox says she is happy that at her age she can donate blood.
Whitlee says, "I think it's good, because as long as you're healthy and okay to give blood, I think any age should give it."
The Southeastern Community Blood Center hopes that this experience will encourage students to become lifelong donors.
Jeanne Dariotis, CEO of Southeastern Community Blood Center, says, "What we hope is that when they go on to college that they will donate in their college campus, and when they settle down in the community, they'll become blood donors in the community, so it's not just about giving blood in Colquitt County; it's about educating the youth about the importance of volunteering and being blood donors."
Shenieka Williams, a senior at Colquitt County High School, says, "It's important ‘cause we get to save lives and like a lot of kids don't really know how important it is to give blood."
It’s blood that will be used directly in their community, blood that could one day save the life of someone they know, a spokesperson with the Southeastern Community Blood Center says it's the only blood provider in Colquitt County.
The blood center hopes to have blood drives in Georgia and Florida schools, encouraging more 16-year-olds to give.