Editor’s Note: Trinity Heard is an editor on staff but was not involved in the writing, reporting, or editing of this story.
On Jan. 20, Oswego High School’s student council cleared the small gymnasium for the semi-annual blood drive, giving students and staff an opportunity to donate blood during periods 2 through 7.
Organized by Ms. April Ponte and Ms. Anne Sweeney, co-sponsors of the OHS student council, the drive offered those who don’t have the time to donate outside of school the opportunity to donate during school hours.
“It’s a good cause for sure, and anytime we can promote a good cause to our kids it’s good, and it has some internal benefits for all of us,” Assistant Principal Mr. Brian Cooney said. “Makes you feel good about what you’re doing and feel good about yourself. As a school we want to provide those opportunities to our kids.”
With the help of the OHS student council, workers from blood donation company Versiti set up equipment at 8 a.m. to start the process of drawing blood from volunteers who met the requirements.
Volunteers had to be 16 or older to participate, although anyone under 18 needed a signed permission slip and met a specific weight requirement to ensure no health or safety issues occurred.
Volunteers who did meet the requirements were taken care of throughout the entire process, and they were given food and water after to prevent iron deficiency.
“It’s a little intimidating, but that’s probably just personal preference,” senior Tyler Johnson said after donating. “It’s a community thing and it’s also good for other peoples’ health.”
Blood donated through the drive will be taken back to Versiti laboratories to be tested and processed for patients.
“In your blood donation, there’s red cells and plasma. So when it goes back to the lab we separate it and each of those units can be used for different types of transfusions,” said Jordan Zinzer, a phlebotomist at Versiti. “Plasma is used for people with severe burns, and red blood cells are used for people who are anemic, people with sickle cell, and massive blood loss gets pretty much all the components of the blood.”
The blood drive is generally held once during the fall, and once more in the winter throughout the school year. For anyone wanting to donate through Versiti, ways to donate are linked on their website. For information regarding future blood drives, contact student council co-sponsors, Ms. Ponte and Ms. Sweeney.
“Anytime we can help others for a good cause it’s definitely worth the time and effort,” Cooney said.
I am a junior at OHS. This is my first year on staff as a news reporter and editor. I am interested in the gym and video games.