On September 29, stickers with the message, “Be nice to me. I donated blood today!” were found on many passing shirts in the hallways. The school year started out with yet another successful blood drive, however, it would not be a Central blood drive without a little chaos and mayhem here and there. Even though there were only eleven schools days for planning in September, 275 was still able to organize its first blood drive.
With the dedicated work of the blood drive co-chairs Eype John, Prapey Mao, Ellianna Mclaughlin, and Joshua Canlas, and the efforts of the Blood Drive Committee, 111 pints of blood were successfully donated. Mr Patton, the 275 class sponsor, added, “Although it may not sound like a lot, it’s 111 pints more than they had this morning.”
The famous saying around blood drive time is “One donation saves three lives.” That is an amazing and thoughtful expression, but somewhat of an empty gesture if there is no knowledge of the blood’s journey after the initial donation.
“I donate blood because I know it helps people. I’m not quite sure how my blood helps, but if it saves three lives, I’m more than willing to donate,” stated Ryir Norris (276).
John Helbig, Senior Manager of Operations for the American Red Cross, was able to explain where Central students’ blood was sent.
The American Red Cross has it’s own lab in Philadelphia where blood is organized into blood types and undergoes numerous tests. The blood is then sent all over the city to hospitals in need. One pint of blood, the standard amount for donations, can save up to three different lives. An interesting statistic from the Red Cross’ website states, “If you began donating blood at age 17 and donated every 56 days until you reached 76, you would have donated 48 gallons of blood, potentially helping save more than 1,000 lives!”
Hospitals request the type of blood needed, and the laboratory can usually supply it. For example, the lab in Philadelphia once had to send blood all the way to Puerto Rico. Individuals who need blood range from patients with childhood leukemia to victims of car accidents.
“No blood given is ever bad or wasted. There is always a demand and use for it,” explained Helbig.
The blood drive is a wonderful event that Central is honored to host numerous times each year to help those in need. To emphasize the importance of the blood drive, Co-chair Eype John (275) stated, “There are a lot of people that don’t take high school blood drives seriously. But just think about it–we were able to get a 111 pints of blood in one day. 111 pints translates to about 333 lives saved. It’s really amazing that we as a school were able to make such an impact, and it is an experience we should all be really proud of.”
Co-chair Prapey Mao (275) admitted that “despite the short amount of school days we had to work with, we couldn’t have done it without the students and staff.”
Each contribution was greatly appreciated by Central, the American Red Cross, and the patients whose lives will be saved by the donated blood.
Chelsea Tepel (275)
Michael Chen (275), Staff Photographer
Sariah Loy (275), Staff Photographer
Natan Yakov (275), Editor-in-Chief