Students donate blood in semiannual blood drive

Students and staff participate in blood drive hosted by StuCo and the Red Cross

Math+teacher+Alex+Houlton%2C+along+with+other+faculty+and+students%2C+donates+blood+to+Red+Cross+in+the+auxiliary+gym+on+Thursday%2C+March+26.

By Photo by Madison Ferguson

Math teacher Alex Houlton, along with other faculty and students, donates blood to Red Cross in the auxiliary gym on Thursday, March 26.

Sarah Myers, JagWire editor-in-chief

Nearly 70 students showed up to donate blood on Thursday, March 26 for the biannual blood drive. Approximately 50 units of blood were drawn, with each eligible student giving at least one pint. All blood donations went to the Red Cross.

Many who donated blood had already done it for previous blood drives, while others had never donated before. For senior Madeline Grube, this blood drive marked her fourth time giving blood.

“It went by quickly. It always gets easier [the more times you do it],” Grube said. “The first time I donated, I thought it hurt a bit, but now I don’t feel anything and I know what to expect.”

Sophomore Mitch Willoughby donated for the second time, following his participation in the fall blood drive.

“The first time, it was nerve wracking. I’m not the best with needles,” Willoughby said. “[I wanted to do it again] because I like helping people and I figure I’m healthy, so I want to be able to help out someone who isn’t.”

Students wishing to donate blood must be at least 16 years old and pass height and weight requirements. They are advised to drink lots of water and eat a full, balanced breakfast and lunch prior to donating. In addition, students’ iron levels are tested before their blood is drawn to determine eligibility.

Overall, 98 students signed up to donate; however, not all were able to, given the requirements. Many students who intended to donate were also not able to due to a delay at the beginning of the day that lasted over an hour. Junior Maddie Remijio was among those turned away for ineligibility.

“When they told me I couldn’t donate due to low iron, I felt horrible,” Remijio said. “I wanted to save lives but instead I missed an hour of school for no reason.”

Unlike with previous blood drives, StuCo members found it more difficult to find students willing to donate, resulting in a less-than-usual donation amount. Senior class secretary Michaela Mense attributes this to bad timing, but encourages students to donate in the future. Mense also donates blood herself during each blood drive.

“Coming out of spring break, we weren’t able to advertise it as well and didn’t have a good, solid week of time to get the word out,” Mense said. “Giving blood is important because it helps those in need in ways you don’t see and aren’t directly affected by on a regular basis. If you can do something to help others, why wouldn’t you do it?”

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