PICO RIVERA — Looking thin and pale, first-grade teacher and new mother Shannon Evans smiled and hugged her fellow teachers who organized a blood drive in her honor Thursday at Orchard Dale Elementary School. “This is my second family here, and to see them all come together to support me is amazing and a blessing,’ said Evans, whose daughter Jolie arrived three months early, weighing in at just 2 pounds, 11 ounces. Jolie, born two weeks ago, has had one blood transfusion and may need a second, said Evans. Moved by Evans’ experience, her fellow teachers at Orchard Dale decided to donate blood not just for Jolie, but for all the other mothers and premature babies who might need transfusions in the future. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week “Shannon’s need for a blood transfusion for her baby brought the need for blood to the forefront,’ said special education teacher Lara Epling, who was among the first to roll up her sleeve Thursday. “I also heard there is free ice cream involved,’ she joked. About 100 teachers and parents from the school were expected to donate blood Thursday afternoon. Evans stopped by the school on her way to visit Jolie at Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital in Whittier. Sue Orloff, a first-grade teacher who organized the blood drive, said it was a much bigger gesture than merely sending Evans flowers. She hoped the effort by the teachers will spur others to do the same. “With all the tragedies in the world, like Hurricane Katrina, it’s a good way to give back. We want to see this extended outside our school family,’ Orloff said. Members of Presbyterian Hospital’s donor center staff, who were on hand at the school to collect the blood, said every such effort helps. “It’s good to have schools do blood drives to replenish the blood supply at our local hospital,’ said Lisa Van Ortwick, a blood donor recruiter for the hospital. Debbie Pfeiffer Trunnell can be reached at (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3028, or by e-mail at [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!