Scioto County DD News Article

SCDD hosts Red Cross blood drive for VRS graduate

blood drive

Scioto County Developmental Disabilities and the American Red Cross hosted a blood drive in the gymnasium of the SCDD’s Vern Riffe School (VRS) in Portsmouth on Wednesday, January 10, 2024. This was the first blood drive ever hosted at the school, and it was in honor of a recent VRS graduate, Jon Adkins. Jon, a 2023 graduate of VRS, has a positive, energetic, hard working attitude.  He loves to play pranks and jokes.  

On New Year’s Eve 2022, Jon got sick.  He was subsequently diagnosed with stage 3 testicular cancer.  Since his diagnosis, Jon has endured chemotherapy, multiple blood transfusions, major surgery, and is currently undergoing kidney dialysis. But through it all, that positive personality continues to be evident. Andrea McClellan, a VRS Positive Support Facilitator, spearheaded this event.

“Jon has had to receive maybe 11 or 12 units of blood since his diagnosis.  We thought this would be something that we, as a community, could do to support him and his family.  We just thought: everybody can’t give money, but everybody does have blood," she said.

Andrea requested 20 donor spots and she was assigned 43 by the Red Cross. At the end of this very successful day, a total of 34 pints of blood were donated! And Jon even stopped by to say hello to his many friends gathered at the Vern Riffe School. Many volunteers and friends of Jon also stepped in to help make sure the event was successful.

“Some of Jon’s former classmates, who are still attending school here (VRS), are volunteering and helping out. An individual from Minford High School and three of his friends also came to help.  Some of the older students are making cookies today to serve in the canteen,” McClellan said.

For more information about the American Red Cross, or how to donate blood, visit online at, or call 1-844-216-8286. For more information about the programs and services at Scioto County Developmental Disabilities, call 740-353-0636 or visit online at, and like and follow them on Facebook and TikTok.

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