NHS Hosts Annual Blood Drive

Addie Clayton, Reporter

On Jan. 7, NHS student council hosted their annual blood drive. STUCO aims at hosting a blood drive at least once if not twice a year. This has been a tradition for over 20 years according to STUCO sponsor, Erica Rickard. Student council uses the blood drive as a service project to help the Red Cross, a way to give back to the community.

 Last school year due to COVID, student council was not able to hold a blood drive. While COVID is still around, and numbers are currently on the rise, executives felt it was a priority to hold a drive because there is such a shortage of blood right now. 

“We had roughly 70 spots to schedule and we had scheduled most of those. We were able to schedule around 60. Some of them were high school students, others were teachers and staff and some were just community members that knew we were holding a drive,” Rickard said. “I think in the end we were just shy of 60 people due to the weather that day and people being sick. We were just short of our total blood collection of 39 pints and we had hoped to be in the mid 40s.”

Some years STUCO does really well when it comes to getting people to sign up to donate and other years not as good. Rickard said this year was an average year for blood donations. When helping the Red Cross, STUCO helps set up tables, send out emails and gather numbers to donate. STUCO also helps people check-in for their donation time and provide them with name tags for when they are all signed in.

“On the day of the blood drive Red Cross some years needs help setting up and taking down so it kinda depends on Red Cross’ needs and STUCO helps with checking people in and helps with the canteen so when they have finished giving blood and stay for observation for a little while before they go back,” Rickard said.

When a person wants to donate blood they have to meet certain requirements such as age, weight and height. Additionally, participants have to fill out a questionnaire and therefore certain things people have checked off on the questionnaire could disqualify them from donating blood.  

“I did donate blood. It was my first time. While I was donating I was mostly just worried about passing out or not feeling good but the Red Cross provided us with a lot of snacks so I was chillin,” student body president senior Caleb Koontz said. “I thought the workers were very kind and definitely helped with the anxiety of having someone sticking a needle in you and taking your blood.”

Koontz said he thought the turnout for the drive was good even with the conditions of the roads that day. Although they did not reach the goal they wanted, mostly everyone who signed up to donate, showed up. 

“Some people aren’t fortunate enough to not have to worry about blood transfusions while many people and hospitals struggle with obtaining blood. Our hospitals have actually had a shortage of blood recently with the pandemic so eligible people should definitely be donating,” Koontz said.