As a Redwood Valley High School student, Jasmine Barnes has gotten involved in a variety of activities. Through student council she has learned to develop leadership and organizational skills that are going to help her with an upcoming event she is coordinating.

Barnes, who will be a junior this fall, is helping organize a blood drive. 

The American Red Cross event is scheduled for July 3 at Redwood Alliance Church in Redwood Falls. Donations are being accepted that day from 2-7 p.m.

As the local blood drive coordinator, Barnes has taken on the role of getting people signed up to donate.

Although she is still in high school, coordination of blood drives is not a totally new experience for Barnes. As a member of the student council, Barnes has helped to organize blood drives hosted by the school.

Barnes was approached about the possibility of doing a blood drive in the community, and she willingly stepped up to take the lead.

“I thought it would be a good summer project for me,” said Barnes, who started working on the plans for the upcoming event at the end of May. “I like working on projects that I know are helping others.”

Barnes has been spreading the word, and as of earlier this week had received 20 commitments for the July 3 blood drive. The goal is to collect 39 units.

While Barnes plans to continue to find people to donate, she added those who do not make appointments in advance are welcome to walk in that day. With new rules in place students who are at least 16 have the opportunity, with permission from a parent, to donate blood.

While Barnes would love to be able to give, she said she is too small to do so, which is why at this point in her life the chance to help out in another way as an event coordinator provides her with the opportunity to give of herself in a different way.

“There is always a need for blood donations,” said Barnes. “It really is an easy thing that people can do.”

According to the Red Cross it is during the summer months, especially around holidays, such as Independence Day, that donations are not always keeping up with the demand.

To learn more about being a blood donor, visit www.redcrossblood.org.