ASPIRE Academy stands with Vegas through blood drive | RecordCourier.com

ASPIRE Academy stands with Vegas through blood drive

Sadie Ellbogen, 17, a junior at ASPIRE Academy High School donates blood for the first time on Monday as her father Paul looks on.

More than 30 people donated blood in the United Services Blood Mobile at ASPIRE Academy on Monday in honor of the victims and families of the October Las Vegas mass shooting.

Students at the school organized the donations for a community service project.

"The whole school is based on service and giving back so we saw a need with the Vegas victims and we decided that was what we wanted to do for our community school project this year," said ASPIRE Junior Sadie Ellbogen.

ASPIRE Academy Principal Marty Swisher said the shooting happened as the school was preparing and coming up with ideas for the project and the opportunity arose from there.

"Many of the students know someone who was there or was some how affected by the shooting. So with that and it being so close to home, they wanted to do something in honor of those victims and families as their community service project this year," Swisher said.

The students made signs with encouraging messages for the victims and families to not give up and sent a picture and video to the mayor of Las Vegas explaining their project and what they planned to do.

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Ellbogen was one of a dozen students who not only helped organize the project, but donated blood, too.

"It makes me feel really good because there aren't many opportunities for minors to give back in a big way like this," she said.

Swisher said one of the best parts of the project was speaking with the students after they had donated.

"It's one thing to ask about a project and how it made them feel doing it, but with this one we told them 'you just helped save at least three people's live' and that just wowed them. It was a really big deal for them," he said.

Donations from the drive will help refill what blood banks lost during the high demand of the shooting and assist those still in need.

For more information about United Blood Services and opportunities to donate visit http://www.unitedbloodservices.org.