Sarah Rivera wanted to celebrate her 16th birthday donating blood for the first time.
When Sarah was asked what she wanted to do for her birthday, she told her mom the only thing she wanted to do was donate blood for the first time.
Not only did she donate, but Sarah also helped coordinate a blood drive at her school in September.
Her Aunt Wanda wrote the following letter about the experience:
A Teen Who is Giving Back
Recent articles include chilling accounts of an honor student being beaten at a bus stop and another fourteen-year-old threatening to do unfathomable things to a teacher if she did not give the entire class As. I want to let you know there are kind, thoughtful teens out there who are our future leaders. Those are the ones we seldom hear about.
My niece, Sarah, is one of those. She has a kind and considerate heart. Sarah is an honor student at Ashbrook High School. She is on the Flag Team and volunteered for a recent Red Cross Blood Drive at her school. She also volunteers at the local Habitat. Evidently the blood drive gave Sarah something to think about. Since one of the requirements for giving blood is being sixteen years old, she could not give.
Yes, she is very excited about getting that first vehicle, which of course, is a teen rite of passage. She wants lots of gifts, too. What girl doesn’t want gifts on her birthday? But, she is also doing something else for the first time–she is giving a gift, blood, the gift of life.
Sarah’s mother, Jenny, has been an example for her, giving blood whenever she can. When Jenny goes to give blood, Sarah is there to help out and see that her mom is comfortable and feels alright. Sarah is not squeamish around needles and blood. To her, they are part of life. Although she still has plenty of time to change her mind, Sarah is leaning towards becoming a gynecologist or neonatologist. In many ways the connection between seeing it as her job to give blood and becoming a doctor who will deal closely with new life are very similar.
On her birthday, October 5th at around 3:30, Sarah, along with a friend who could not give blood during the blood drive, and Jenny will roll up their sleeves and make their all important contributions to the welfare of other people in need.
Wanda Stephens, Proud Aunt