BY ISABELLE MARMARA
The Red Cross Club hosted their first Blood Drive since 2019 on April 21. Every two seconds, someone in America needs blood. Over 70 students and faculty members donated, which could save three times as many lives.
Each donation generates three different products: red blood cells, which help people who have lost a lot of blood in an accident, platelets, that help cancer patients who have chemotherapy treatments, and plasma, which helps patients such as burn victims “This was my first time donating, and I wanted to help save lives. I thought it was great how they gave us an opportunity to donate during school itself, which allowed more students to be involved,” said donor Jordon Redford.
“From the Red Cross, their goal was to collect 66 units of blood and we ended up exceeding the goal by collecting 74 units!” said co-president Yash Agrawal. Each unit equals one pint of blood, meaning at least 74 donations collected will help save over 200 lives.
The National American Red Cross helps school clubs complete at least one “blood services” activity per year. The American Red Cross brings all the supplies and staff necessary for the donations. “Our club has hosted blood drive in the past, but this is the first one we have been able to host since the pandemic,” faculty advisor Kristen Celentano said.
After a quick health screening to medically clear the donor, the drawing of blood took place. It takes around 10 minutes to collect about one unit of blood. “You are able to save lives by spending only 20 minutes of your time,” Red Cross Webmaster Neeti Naik said. “People in hospitals need blood transfusions every second and giving blood fulfills these needs.”
Volunteers cared for donors in an observation area for about 15 minutes after their procedure, providing refreshments to help them recover. “It was a kind of scary experience, but everyone there made it easier, and I kept in mind it was for a good cause,” said donor Javier Gentles. Donors also got a free Snoopy T-shirt reading “Be cool. Give blood.”
The Red Cross’s blood drive resulted in a huge success, not only helping those in need but bringing the school together for a valued cause. Donations can benefit over 200 people in need, while also helping tackle the nation’s blood shortage.
Posted on 5/15/23
Photos by Isabelle Marmara and Katelyn Buchalter