By Pixie Sulser
During the recent holiday season when many were contemplating the perfect gift to give, students and staff at Ramona High School gave the gift of life by participating in the school’s second blood drive of the year.
Organized by the RHS ASB (Associated Student Body) in conjunction with San Diego Blood Bank, 87 pints of blood were collected in one day of donations.
According to event coordinators Claire Hagan (junior) and Samantha Fezzey (freshman), one pint of blood equals three lives, and one of every four units of blood used in the United States is from a high school blood drive.
“We feel very positive about the December drive,” they said. “It was a cold rainy day, and many details had to be changed because of the weather, but collecting 87 pints of blood is a success. We have two more blood drives planned and our goal for the year is to collect a total of 350 pints of blood.”
Meeting their goal of 350 pints will qualify the RHS ASB for a $1,000 scholarship from the American Red Cross which will be dispersed to an individual or individuals within the ASB group.
“Besides the obvious benefit of saving lives, this is a wonderful project in terms of community service, “ said ASB Adviser Mona Snodgrass. “The donors truly make an impact, and the leadership class learns to work with an outside organization. There is a lot of leadership and responsibility required to make something like this successful.”
Each blood drive is held on the RHS campus during school hours. Students 16 years and older are eligible to
donate, however anyone under the age of 18 must have parental permission.
Before actually donating, perspective donors are interviewed by a Red Cross nurse who asks a series of health-related questions. A blood sample is taken to check for iron levels and blood type.
Donors who make it through the screening process are then escorted to a cot where they rest while their blood is drawn. Before returning to their daily schedules, donors relax in a rest area and are offered snacks and juice to replenish their energy level.
“The Red Cross is an amazing group to work with, said Fezzey. “They make everything very safe and comfortable for the donors.”
The process of donating is quite simple, but finding donors is the challenge, shared Hagan and Fezzey, who hope to involve the community in their next two blood drives.
“As the dates approach, we will have posters put up around town, notices in the newspaper, and information posted on the school website. The more blood we collect, the more lives we save!”