Saving 210 Lives in Less Than 8 Hours

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Senior Rayyan Merchant donates blood. As a senior, if Merchant donates at least twice this year, he earns a red cord at graduation. (Photo/Maia Fernandez Baigun)

Blood drives every sixty days are the “norm” at Heritage. However, our average blood drive collects approximately 35 pints of blood. Students made history March 7 with the greatest amount of blood ever collected (70 pints) and one of the largest turnouts (83 people).

One Blood and Red Cross state every pint saves three lives, so this month’s blood drive secured an equivalent to 210 lives saved. “Why would I say blood drives are important? That’s easy; it’s called saving lives,” National Honor Society (NHS) advisor Diana Adams said. “Most people don’t think about it, but if you are in a car accident on the way home and taken to the hospital and need blood, that blood comes from somewhere. If it hasn’t been donated, it’s not there, and you could die.”

The recent success of March’s blood drive is believed to come in part from the new red cords for seniors who donate, underclassmen coming of-age to donate and a new training program for NHS students who market the drive. Blood Drive Chair senior Nick DiStefano spearheaded the training program after NHS students encountered trouble with their elevator pitch and timing for marketing. During the program, he went over the script for marketing the blood drive event with each person and explained what times were best for marketing.

This extra consultation allegedly helped with blood drive attendance. “At the blood drive, I asked a few people ‘why did you come out and donate?’ because so many people were coming. They often said, ‘people came into my room and they convinced me,’” DiStefano said.

Beyond senior cords and training, DiStefano believes the blood drive date was situated better than previous ones. Previous dates neared big events such as finals, senior applications and the first week of school. “There was like nothing going on. So a ton of people came out at all periods. I think each period at least ten people were signed up to donate blood,” DiStefano said of the date.

Despite the blood drive’s high numbers, NHS wants future blood drives to increase in attendance even more. “We have over 500 kids who can donate. We had 83 who came out and tried, which is great, but we’d like more,” Ms. Adams said.

DiStefano recommends prospective donors stay hydrated and eat breakfast the day of donating. “The fact that we were able to reach 70 shows that people are more interested, more invested, and they want to get that further step,” DiStefano said. “I’m just proud that that many people came out.”

Senior Olivia Lloyd decided to donate blood for the first time at this blood drive. Although she has been seeing the big red buses on campus all four years of high school, she had never previously donated. (Photo/Maia Fernandez Baigun)

Bella Ramirez, 15, is a passionate journalist and Marvel fan. She enjoys writing for the newsmagazine, doing segments in WAHS and running her third publication, Pressing the Future. Ramirez has her head in the clouds and her heart in New York, fingers crossed she can last the next few years of high school in this Florida heat.

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