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StuCo hosts annual blood drive

Student Council (StuCo) hosted a Red Cross blood drive from first to third hour today, finishing up fourth hour after having collected 50 pints of blood from 8:55 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. This event fell on the third day of StuCo’s first ever kindness week, preceded by kindness chain links on Monday and a Rainbow House toy drive on Tuesday. Transformed into a donation center, the Auxiliary Gym featured a sign-up station, blood donation chairs, a snack table and a cot in case of emergency. 

Did You Know?
Basic requirements for donating blood:
– Be in good health and feeling well.
– Be 18 or have a completed Parental Consent Form.
– Weigh at least 110 lbs.
– Must not have anemia.
– Have not donated blood in the lat 56 days.

Nurses manned the blood donation chairs and StuCo volunteers checked on donors. Putting in hours beforehand and during the event, volunteers set up the chairs and mats, scheduled donation appointments, created and hung up posters and promoted the event to students. 

Senior Morgan Boussad stayed busy chairing the blood drive committee as 65 volunteers arrived to donate. The number of volunteers was the largest in four years and overflow necessitated willing donors being turned away, Boussad said.

“We actually had to start sending students away,” Boussad said. “We had so many donors and people waiting that we just did not have enough time to take everyone.”

In years past, the blood drive struggled to meet its desired goal of 35 pints, as participation was limited by requirements of age, weight, height and many other broad donation disqualifications. This year, however, better publicity and better incentive, the blood drive exceeded Stuco’s goal and collected 50 pints. 

Senior Julia LaHue contributed the blood drive’s success to improved publicity including posters and Instagram advertising among StuCo members, as previous years primarily publicized via word of mouth. All StuCo members were also expected to either donate blood or, if they are unable, ask another student to donate in their place.

Donating in place of a StuCo member was senior Megan Phaup, filling in for a friend who didn’t meet weight requirements. Female volunteers must be 5’5” and weigh 110 pounds to donate, and for every inch shorter must weigh 5 pounds heavier.

Did You Know?
Students involved in organizing the blood drive included:

Seniors Julia LaHue, Grant Hajicek, Will Bower and Morgan Boussad, junior volunteer Peyton Brooks, sophomore volunteers Garrison Ragsdale and Ellie Clay, and freshman volunteer Mark Hajicek.

 “I donated blood in someone’s place because they were short and didn’t weigh enough, plus I’m not scared of needles, I’m not scared of blood, and it tickles when I get shot.” Phaup said. “It was my first time donating, but it wasn’t bad.”

LaHue donated before at the Columbia Career Center as a part of a competition in her nursing class. Having given blood before, she wasn’t as scared to do it again. 

“Getting checked in and taking my vitals was an easy process and I got a little nervous, but once the needle was in I was fine,” LaHue said. “It was smooth sailing from there and I didn’t get lightheaded or faint at all.“

Senior Paige Hensley watched as blood flowed from her vein through the needle. Waiting with her was senior Thalia Montesquieu, staring at the tube and supporting her friend.Senior Paige Hensley watched as blood flowed from her vein through the needle. Waiting with her was senior Thalia Montesquieu, staring at the tube and supporting her friend. Photo by Sarah Mosteller.
Junior Mackenzie Harvey looked away from the blood collection tube as she donated, staring instead at the gym ceiling. Standing next to her was her senior friend Ainsley Benson, supporting Harvey throughout the process. Photos by Sarah Mosteller.
Senior Mary Kate Grossman donated 1 pint to the blood drive today. Squeezing a blood pressure pump and smiling, Grossman checked if she was healthy enough to donate before beginning the process. Photo by Sarah Mosteller.

One minute one blood drive

Did you donate blood? Let us know in the comments below.

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