By Jake Huffcutt —

This winter, students at University of Wisconsin–Stout will have an opportunity to potentially earn a $2,500 scholarship. All they’ll need to do is put in a lot of blood, sweat, and tears. Well, maybe just a lot of blood.

The American Red Cross is looking for students to organize their own blood drives through their “Leaders Save Lives” program between Dec. 15, 2015 and Jan. 15, 2016. Drawings will be held at the end of this time for $2,500, $1,500 or $1000 scholarships.

Students will need to meet certain donation requirements in order to gain the chance to win one of these scholarships. 25 to 59 pints of blood will earn you a chance for the $1000 scholarship, 60 to 99 pints will earn you a chance for the $1500 one and 100+ pints will put you in the drawing for the $2500 scholarship. Your potential hard work will not go in vain though, for $50, $100, and $200 gift cards will be offered automatically to those organizations that meet the 25-59, 60-99, 100+ pint brackets respectively.

Students interested in starting their own drive are encouraged to fill out an application found on the Red Cross’s Leaders Save Lives website. Registration to create a drive for this scholarship is open until Nov. 15.

The Leaders Save Lives program was started by the Red Cross to “give students an opportunity to learn valuable leadership skills,” said Red Cross spokesperson, Sue Thesenga. “Winter is a difficult time to collect enough blood to meet patient needs with inclement weather and seasonal illnesses reducing the number of volunteer donors that come out to give.”

More than 41,000 blood donations are needed every day, and these donations go everywhere from people affected by sickle cell disease, cancer patients going through chemotherapy treatment, victims of car accidents and many others. Every little bit counts: one donation of a pint of blood can save up to three lives. 20 percent of blood donations to the Red Cross come from college and high school blood drives.

If you’re interested in donating blood outside of the potential scholarship blood drive, then you are encouraged to visit, or call 1-800-733-2767 to make an appointment and receive more information.

The Red Cross will also be hosting blood drives at Stout on Dec. 7 and Feb. 1.
To view requirements and fill out an application for the Leaders Save Lives scholarship, visit

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