The Community Blood Center of the Carolinas recently announced that Lincolnton resident Karla Perez Lopez is its “2013-2014 Holiday Heroes” scholarship winner.
The Holiday Heroes program allows high school and college students to partner with the CBCC and host blood drives during the holiday season, helping meet the needs of local patients. Lopez received the $1,000 scholarship for collecting the most units of blood at her drive, held at her workplace, the Smith Immigration Law Firm in Hickory. Through her blood drive, Lopez was able to touch 141 local lives, as the non-profit community-based blood center is the primary supplier to 22 regional hospitals in both North Carolina and South Carolina counties. She also won third place the CBCC’s “Students Saving Summer” scholarship program last summer.
In addition to her work with the law firm, Lopez stays busy with raising her toddler son and attending classes at Gaston College. She knew that holding a blood drive would not only save lives, but could also assist her family financially.
“Winning this scholarship helps pay for books or a couple classes,” Lopez said. “I know hosting a drive and donating blood is a good thing, and I like to help.”
Lopez added that she also gained two pounds to allow her to donate blood. CBCC’s minimum weight requirement for donors is 120 pounds.
“Our regional blood supply tends to run low during the holiday season when kids are out of school and families are away from their routines, so programs like “Holiday Heroes” can be very impactful,” CBCC president and CEO Martin Grable said. “We are very appreciative of Karla and other Holiday Heroes participants who went above and beyond in helping save local lives.”
In addition to its “Holiday Heroes” scholarship program, CBCC offers other scholarship and grant opportunities for local students and schools. Since 2009, the organization has awarded more than $129,500 in scholarships and grants. Those interested in learning more about hosting a blood drive or donating blood should visit www.cbcc.us or call (704) 972-4700.