Milton Hosts Blood Drive, Saves Lives
by Caitlin Connelly on Friday, March 7th, 2014Every two seconds, someone needs blood in the United States, and an immense 41,000 blood donations are necessary every day to meet this high demand. On Tuesday, February 25, Milton students and faculty participated in the annual Red Cross blood drive. This year, our school raised 37 pints of blood, upping last year’s collection of 28 pints.
The Community Service board has been hosting blood drives at Milton for many years. In addition to reducing the number of annual blood drives, the board informed the community about the drive’s importance with a new tactic: reading fun facts about blood donations during morning assemblies. This initiative led to an increased number of signups before Tuesday’s event. Elle Blake (I), co-head of the Community Service board commented, “A month before this event, the Community Service board had a Red Cross representative come and speak to us about the importance of donating blood, which got everyone really excited to get donations and definitely contributed to the success of this year’s drive.”
Although 52 students registered, many could not donate due to the strict eligibility of donors. Multiple registered donors were disappointed to learn that their international trips prevented them from donating blood. In particular, students who traveled to South Africa last spring for the jazz trip did not meet the eligibility requirements because of the safari they went on while there but hope to participate in the next drive.
Those who did participate found the experience stress-free and rewarding. Caitlin Greene (I) said, “Having blood taken felt a little weird, and I was a little tipsy afterwards, but overall I enjoyed it; giving blood to those who need it feels good.”
Of the 37 pints of blood collected, 25 came from people who had not previously participated in the drive, displaying the event’s increased popularity and the upward trend in donations. Elle said that she is “always impressed by the interest that people show in donating blood. A large portion of the student body seemed enthusiastic about trying it out.” She along with other board members, students, and faculty are hopeful that, with so many first time donors and increased awareness, next year’s blood drive will yield more donations even though the eligibility requirements for donating remain restrictive.
With the 37 pints raised last Tuesday for the Red Cross, our generous community has helped save over one hundred lives. As emphasized by students, faculty, and members of the Community Service board, giving blood is not difficult or time-consuming, but the donations make a huge difference to those who need them.
If the majority of eligible student donors in the Milton community participated in next year’s drive, together we could help save up to nine hundred lives. Although this feat may seem unattainable, individuals who participated this year state that giving up a little blood and an hour of one’s time is more than worth it. Through further awareness and enthusiasm, next year should follow this year’s success with an even bigger turnout, additional blood donations, and more lives saved.
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