The word “drive,” a common sports term for an aggressive forward play, took on a different meaning in the gym during the school’s recent Red Cross Blood Drive which netted 32 pints of blood from a pool of 48 registered donors.
“You are truly lifesavers,” said Red Cross representative Matt Belanger. “Without the support of hosts like you and the selfless donors that roll-up their sleeves, we would be lost.”
Senior Anna Egan helped register the donors. “I was so glad to be able to help the drive, and was particularly taken with the amount of donors, especially those from the junior class,” she said.
According to Belanger, the 32 units collected can benefit up to three times as many needy patients and save up to 96 lives. The drive was particularly successful, he noted, since 27 of the registrants were first-time donors.
“The drive was very successful and it was awesome to be able to donate and help save lives,” said senior and donor Maggie Leonard. “The nurses were super sweet and were happy to tell us that my blood could save up to 3 lives.”
Four of the donors also completed a Power Red Cell donation whereby a special machine allows a donor to contribute two units of red blood cells in one donation while returning plasma and platelets to the donor.
The demand for blood is great, Belanger noted. Each day, the Red Cross needs to collect 14,000 pints to meet the needs of patients and hospitals.
The drive, organized and sponsored by School Nurse Holly Bartlett and Campus Minister David Gilpin, was open to AWHS eligible students. Since Red Cross posts all of its drives on its website, the drive also included donors from outside of the school.
If you missed out, you may have another chance to donate at the school if Red Cross returns in the spring.
“I am grateful for your energy and passion for our mission,” Belanger said. “I presented you with a pretty big challenge and you gladly accepted it and hit the ground running. I am so proud of what you accomplished and I hope your students are equally as proud.”
“It was an amazing feeling!” said Leonard about her participation. “I would definitely do it again.”