Blood Drive Sees Record Donations

Last Tuesday was Northwood’s annual blood drive for the American Red Cross. The Fitness Center was transformed into a donation center, where students and faculty could choose to donate their blood to help save lives. With the help of event organizer Mr. Andy Donatello, the Northwood community was able to give back to our community and potentially help save lives.

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Donating blood is a simple and safe process, and the result could change someone’s future. A small questionnaire and health test as well as height, weight, and age requirements makes sure that those who donate are at no risk. In New York, donors must be 16 years or older, but those under 17 require parental consent. The potential drawbacks, such as bruising, lightheadedness, or nausea, are minimal, and the screening process helps make sure no problems occur.

Northwood’s blood drive was prepared for everything. Snacks and drinks were provided for donors to help recharge, as well as a resting area to relax afterwards, and student volunteers monitored donors, making sure they were kept hydrated and comfortable. Those who had the rare side effect of feeling faint or lightheaded were promptly pampered with cold towels and water and cared for until they felt fully healthy. American Red Cross staff made sure that everyone donating was aware of the risks and how to deal with them and ran the medical side of the drive smoothly, and no complications arose from the donation process.

Blood donors were completely within the Northwood community. Andrew Donatello, who is also a Northwood parent, organized the event and encouraged people to donate, quelling any fears people had about giving blood and educating the community about the process and results of a blood drive. Student volunteers ran the sign-in process and supported the donors, further comforting anyone still worrying about the process. All donors were either students, faculty, parents, or spouses. This year the community donated a record amount of blood for Northwood. Our drive saw 48 donations, seven of which were power red donations, allowing for more than one unit to be donated, and we far exceeded our goal of 39 donations. In total, 54 units of blood were collected, which could save approximately 162 lives – almost the entire student population of Northwood. The drive was completely filled, and several people were turned away. The maximum amount of people that could donate in the time slot did.

The drive was a fantastic show of Northwood’s community spirit and giving back. Despite our small community, those who could participate did, and those who couldn’t give blood helped out by volunteering. According to the Red cross, an estimated 38 percent of the U.S. population is eligible to donate blood at any given time, though less than 10 percent of that eligible population actually do each year. Donatello proudly commented “The seven hundred person high schools downstate average thirty to thirty-five units. We have fifty four.” almost a quarter of our community donated in the drive, and many volunteers were ineligible freshmen and sophomores. Hopefully next year’s drive will be even more of a success, and we can continue to give to people who we may never meet but who’s lives we may save.

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