the small gym where check-ins and blood drawing took place
Image Credit: Tori Trevino, Editor-in-Chief

On Oct. 22, Oswego High School’s student council held its semi-annual blood drive to provide students and staff an in-school opportunity to give blood in what is currently a blood shortage due to COVID-19 putting many blood drives in the past year to a halt.

The day is meant for those who may not have the time or transportation to go to a blood donation center; it gives them the chance to donate blood without taking time out of their day and to give back to the community

“We typically run about two blood drives a year through student council as a way to have students have a chance to donate their blood—they can save potentially up to three lives by donating,” Ms. Anne Sweeney, co-sponsor of student council, said.

The American Red Cross Blood Services site emphasizes the importance of blood donations, especially during the ongoing pandemic.

“We’re actually kind of at a low with blood donations because of the pandemic,” Student Council President and senior Emerson Valyou said. “By doing this, we give students a chance to feel like they’re doing something that’s worth their time and giving back.”

The process begins with sign-ups provided by the officers, where they come to lunch periods and various classes with time slots that students can sign up for. Those over the age of 16 are allowed to donate, but anyone under 18 has to have a permission slip signed.

From there, the volunteers receive passes the day of the blood drive, to come down during their class period. They then go through a multi-step process to sign in and ensure that they are eligible to give blood.

“[The blood drive staff] will then go through the check of age requirements, any weight requirements,” co-sponsor Ms. April Ponte said.. “Typically students under 18 have a specific weight requirement to make sure that there wouldn’t be any negative side effects because of the amount of blood they’re donating.”

Thanks to the executive board, co-sponsors, student volunteers, and blood donation company Versiti, the blood drive had a turnout of over 40 staff and students coming to donate.

“Basically, we just get everything setup for Versiti…and we get the tables set up for them, the chairs, they bring in all their equipment, so by 8 a.m. it’s all set up and ready to go,”  Sweeney said.

“For being directly out of the pandemic, I really thought the numbers were gonna be a lot lower…there were a lot more people than I expected, however, and it was really nice to see people, despite the circumstances, still showed up and showed out to really give back,” Valyou said.

If you missed this drive, or you’re looking to donate again, save the date for the second semi-annual blood drive run by the student council on Jan. 21, 2022.

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