Twice a year, Lake Shore hosts the National Red Cross Blood Drive for students to donate their blood for a good cause. This tradition has undoubtedly helped hundreds of people and could have saved numerous lives. That being said, less than 100 students have signed up to donate this April.
“[Usually] about a hundred people sign up each event”, says teacher and National Honors Society cooperator Erika Welsh. She continues, “We need about that many for [The Red Cross] to even come to the school,” emphasising the low numbers thus far. With SAT testing cutting up the week and spring break taking students out of the scholar mindset, this is to be expected. For three weeks, students ignore school activities and focus mainly on vacation opportunities and, for juniors specifically, studying for the most important test of their high school careers. Nobody can be blamed for this; it is a natural occurrence for any school system. Despite this, something must be done when there are potentially lives on the line.
The National Honors Society (NHS) has run this show since its origins. “NHS students mainly handle the registration part,” says Welsh, before energetically announcing, “They can help [draw the blood] too if they want to.” A majority of students can donate because of the low and few requirements. If a student is younger than 16 years old, they must have a parent’s permission, whereas if a student is 17+ years old, they can donate of their own accord.
Welsh explains that these aren’t the only requirements, saying “You get a booklet at the registration table that explains if you’re healthy enough to give blood”. Once the student is sure they want to donate their blood, they are taken behind a wall to discuss personal information and take a finger-prick test for iron levels and blood type. After all the preparations are over, the patron is led to a table for collection. In less than a half hour, a student has given a part of their body to someone in need.
Giving blood is easy, signing up is easier, and the satisfaction of saving lives is priceless. Visit Mrs. Welsh’s room to sign up today and give the gift of giving.