Article Image Alt Text

CCISD HOSA chapter and Carter Blood Care hold blood drive


Cove Leader-Press


Although Monday was a holiday for students, it was a professional development day for Copperas Cove Independent School District staff members and the perfect opportunity to help save lives during the workday. 

The Carter Blood Care mobile blood bank bus was parked in front of Lea Ledger Auditorium Monday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., and district employees took time out of their workday to stop and donate blood. 

A total of 18 people, including two members of the news media, completed their donation of blood, with one person even giving a double red cell donation, which is where they gave two units of blood during their donation. These donations combined allow for the saving of up to 57 lives. 

This surpassed CCHS HOSA advisor Jeni Carbone-Williams’ goal of 15 units for this blood drive. 

Copperas Cove High School’s HOSA Chapter and Carter Blood Care have partnered together for these blood drives for at least 14 years, and CCHS was recently recognized for being the top 6A high school with the highest number of blood donations, with 409 units donated in one year. 

Carbone-Williams has been a blood drive coordinator at Copperas Cove High School since 2019, and since then she has conducted 12 blood drives, with the CCHS HOSA chapter. 

She received the 2021 Circle of Life Award from Carter BloodCare for her efforts. Since 2019, under Carbone-Williams’ leadership, Copperas Cove High School has collected 904 units of blood and has seen 496 first-time donors.

“I’m getting chills thinking about it now, because when you do it on a daily kind of basis, you don’t really see all the effects of the history behind it,” Carbone-Williams said. “When they said that- I’m about to cry now because it’s amazing that just through me doing my job, really me doing my job and putting forth the effort to allow these kids to be able to get volunteer hours, to get t-shirts, to understand how these things work and the back end of it.  They’ll go to colleges and start blood drives.”

Maria Sanchez, who is a cancer survivor, was one of the more than a dozen volunteers who rolled up their sleeve and gave blood Monday afternoon. Sanchez works in the CCISD Administration Office as an administrative receptionist. She said that she had tried donating blood previously but was turned away because she had cancer. 

According to Carter Blood Care’s website, cancer patients who had “solid tumors” or malignant melanoma skin cancer are eligible to give blood two years after treatment, while those who have basal cell and squamous cell skin cancer can give blood after removal. Patients with a history of leukemia, lymphoma, multiple myeloma or other blood, lymphoid or bone marrow cancers are not eligible to donate blood.

Sanchez said she was glad that they were accepting her donation this time and encouraged everyone to give blood donation a try. 

“It’s not bad,” Sanchez said. “You’ve got to remember you’re saving somebody’s life.”

She said she also appreciated that the school district hosted this, because so many people don’t know where to go to give blood. 

The CCHS HOSA Chapter hosts three blood drives per year, with students making up the bulk of the people who sign up to donate blood. 

“When we think about blood drives, a lot of us just come in and we donate our blood, but your blood actually goes back to people. Some people need it every day, and that’s what a lot of people don’t realize,” Carbone-Williams said. 

Seniors who donate twice in their senior year receive a red cord to wear at graduation, as part of the Red Cord Program, which helps recognize the students who make a difference. 

Carbone-Williams said that Copperas Cove ISD was one of the few school districts that continued hosting blood drives during the pandemic and credited the district’s administrative staff for being allowed to do so. 

“Community blood drives are very important because it goes right back to the community,” Carbone-Williams said. “Especially during the pandemic, a lot of the schools in the area, they just weren’t allowed to have blood drives, but thank God our admin staff was totally on board with us doing it, and we just kept going without skipping a beat.”

Last year was the first year that HOSA organized a blood drive to coincide with a staff professional development day, according to Carbone-Williams. This has been something that they have continued as a way to offer district employees a chance to make a difference, just like the students. 

The next CCHS HOSA and Carter Blood Care Blood Drive will be April 26 and 27, and it is open to the community. The blood drive will be located in Gymnasium 2, so visitors will need to sign in at the front office and will then be escorted to the gym. 

For information on where to find other blood drives, visit

Eligible donors include people weighing at least 110 pounds who are in good health, according to Carter Blood Care’s website. There are different types of blood donations: whole blood, red blood cell, platelet, plasma and more. Typically, donors will be donating a whole blood donation, which collects one unit of blood from the donor. One unit of blood can potentially save up to three adult lives

Copperas Cove Leader Press

2210 U.S. 190
Copperas Cove, TX 76522
Phone:(254) 547-4207