Jessica Mascolino was in third grade in Patterson, New York, when she learned that her friend Nicole Moccio had a rare disease. Nicole needed donations of healthy blood to treat the disease. Jessica wanted to help, but she was too young to give blood. So she found another way to pitch in. With the support of the Little Doctors program, she planned blood drives.
At a blood drive, people donate their blood so it can be given to someone else who needs it. With Jessica's help, more than 1,800 pints of blood have been collected. "It's important to know that giving blood can save someone's life," Jessica, who is now 18, told TFK.
Calling on Kids
Little Doctors got its start in 1996 when sixth-grade teacher Karen Brothers worked with her students to organize a blood drive. "The kids were just amazing," says Andrea Cefarelli, who works at New York Blood Center. They recruited more than 140 donors, and the Little Doctors program was born.
Today, more than 300 schools in New York and New Jersey participate. Kids design posters, recruit donors and work at blood drives. "Each year, the kids teach us something different," says Cefarelli.
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