“Once student leaders get fired up and get after it, they will take care of business. The trick is to make sure student leaders inspire, empower, and support our student body,” Mattix said.
Focusing on the cause is key. Brent and his students work to rally the student body around the big picture and to motivate donors to see how their small actions can make a difference for patients. They do this by sharing stories about the local need.
Last year, the need hit close to home when a school staff member needed three liters of blood in an emergency after giving birth. School staff were especially motivated to donate after one of their own was impacted. This need and the wonderful response from the community are what keep Brent engaged in hosting blood drives.
“We’ve had such a great response from our students and their families. We are committed to hosting three drives a year and we have a lot of first-time donors that feel empowered through the process,” Mattix said. “We have world-class student leaders who make it their mission to get the word out and recruit donors. The communication, organization, and connection in the partnership we have had with Vitalant creates a smooth process that helps us stay consistent for every drive. In today’s fast-moving society, consistency helps us build trust at our school and with our donors.”
Not only has Brent instilled the spirit of giving in his students, but he has also motivated his family to give. His son, Kyle, who grew up with a fear of needles, was inspired by his dad to donate.
“Standing over six feet and a huge muscle football lineman, he was challenged to donate blood his senior year. He really wrestled with mustering up the courage to step up to the plate and did sign up. As luck would have it, we ended up next to each other and donated at the same time which was totally unplanned,” Mattix recalls. “I was so proud to watch him work through his fears and handle the needle like a champ.”
But a minute into the donation, Mattix’s son began to feel a little lightheaded. Thanks to the phlebotomist’s quick response Kyle came through the donation just fine.
“Worried that Kyle may have been put off by having an extra hurdle, I asked if he would be willing to donate again,” Mattix said. “‘Sure thing’, he told me. ‘It’s for a great cause.’”
Mattix began donating blood himself in high school, the same school he teaches at today.
“I know firsthand what a great opportunity blood drives are to raise awareness and connect with blood donors,” he said. “Roseville High School has been a pillar in our community for over 100 years and we take a lot of pride in synergizing with other spectacular organizations that help our society; working with Vitalant is a win, win.”
Everyone’s a winner thanks to Roseville High School’s blood drive program – most importantly, the patients who need transfusions!
If you have an inspiring story or tips for engaging High School students and faculty that you’d like to share, please send them to MakeAnImpact@vitalant.org.