NHS teams with Red Cross to host blood drive

The students of UHSSE are donating blood for the blood drive.

On March 7, University High School held our blood drive in collaboration with The American Red Cross which is held annually for students to participate. Many students showed up and even had the National Honor Society help volunteer to help run the small event.

The event was primarily organized by Red Cross outreach and came to UHSSE every year proposing to have some donors from the school.

“They made the process fairly easy,” said Caryn Baseler, magnet coordinator, science teacher, and organizer for the blood drive.

After getting the actual event organized, the next worry is getting attendance. “We were worried early on about the low numbers so we invited families also,” said Baseler, however, her worries seemed to be for nothing because “we had a lot of volunteers from inside the school.”

Now in the event stage of the blood drive, everything went well. While a few people were feeling lightheaded, “This isn’t atypical,” said Baseler and she reassured that everyone was safe and well afterward. The event had small snacks and water for the donors and the Red Cross was adamant people stay hydrated and nourished before and after taking blood.

The only larger issue that had come about was that the gym classes needed to be displaced so that the blood drive could be held. “Next time it’ll hopefully be in April” so that the students can still go outside and have class as usual.

Overall, the goal of the Red Cross was to have twenty-six of forty slots have usable blood, “we got 133 percent of what was asked,” with thirty-three-fortieths slots having usable blood. If you donated, be proud of yourself for helping out and donating to a good cause.

We spoke with a donor about the experience from the perspective of someone who was giving blood.

“I was given a paper and was asked if I wanted to sign up,” said Lorenje Paulino ‘23.

Paulino did the RapidPass beforehand and was able to walk in and walk out. “It was really easy and calm,” said Paulino, “it was a pretty chill experience overall.” He explained how he felt safe with the staff as when circumstances didn’t go as planned, they were ready to go immediately.

We also spoke with Juan Cruz ‘23 who also donated blood. “I had to do a long questionnaire,” said Cruz which is mandatory for making sure you’re healthy and able to give blood. According to Cruz, everything was going well until he had gotten on the table where there was a small mishap with the needle, but another attendant fixed it swiftly. “I was just like, ‘what did this man do to me?’” said Cruz, explaining his astonishment. He then went into detail about the snacks and water which he was a big fan of.

However, the Red Cross should be given credit for their helpfulness and how responsive they were to helping our students feel safe and prepared for the daunting task.

Lastly, we spoke with Pooja Tirumali ‘23 and Meghna Bangalore ‘23, two seniors that volunteered to help through the National Honor Society. They had both gone through similar responses Baseler had told us before. While much of it was handled by the Red Cross, the NHS was responsible for guiding the students through the process. The NHS was responsible for checking in students, getting their IDs, and having them wait for the appointment time. They then had to escort students to and from getting their iron checked, and to the rest area.

“If they aren’t feeling well, we walk them back to class twenty-five minutes after,” explained Bangalore to which Tirumali nodded.

The NHS had a load of caring for and helping students before and after the actual event and we are grateful to have them help every year.

All in all, the blood drive was a massive success that squashed any worries for teachers and students alike. For those who donated, thank you for committing your time and help to a good cause, and to those who didn’t consider doing so next year at the school or at any nearest blood drive where you can schedule an appointment.