Loy Norrix annual blood drive: students save lives

By Lauren McGlinn

Every two seconds someone needs a blood transfusion.  Since blood cannot be manufactured, the only way to collect blood is from volunteer donors.  With less than 38% of the population eligible to donate blood, it is very important that people step up and give.  One pint of blood can save up to three lives, according to the Red Cross.

On Friday March 11, students as well as people in the community came to the back gym of Loy Norrix for the annual Blood Drive run by the Loy Norrix National Honor Society (NHS) in partnership with the Red Cross.  Excitement, nervousness and sadness filled the gym.  Many students were first time donors and waited anxiously as they watched “Toy Story 3” while waiting for their turn to give blood.  Others looked forward to saving lives while some had to face their emotions after being told that they could not give blood.

“It was crappy that I couldn’t give blood, and it kind of made me feel like I failed because it’s such a simple thing to do.  I felt like I missed out on a chance to make a difference,” said junior Samantha Brown.

Giving blood is one thing Brown would like to accomplish in her lifetime, which made it difficult for her when she was not able to donate blood.  However, Brown plans on trying again to donate next year in hopes of checking it off of her list.

Junior Brenden Groggel gave blood for the first time.  Even though he hates needles, Groggel was able to overcome his fear and donated a pint of blood.

“[The best part of donating was] the satisfaction of knowing I’m helping others,” said Groggel

As for next year, Groggel plans on donating again.

“I would encourage other people to donate because it’s really not that bad, and it’s for a good cause,” said Groggel.

Matt Porco, the advisor of NHS, views the blood drive as the biggest event for the National Honor Society.  Everyone in NHS has a role during the blood drive.  Some members are part of the publicity committee, which spreads the word about the blood drive and encourages people to donate.  Other members are part of the entertainment committee, which performs a skit during the blood drive assembly in order to inform students about the blood drive.  This year they performed “Teach Me How to Donate” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t1q_6Mb-sHc).  At the assembly, students sign up for times to donate blood and the scheduling committee organizes all of the times.  The canteen committee provides food for donators to eat after they give blood.

“It is a really good opportunity for Loy Norrix to gain positive recognition in the community.  Loy Norrix is one of the biggest one-day drives in the area, and the blood drive allows a national organization to see what Norrix is all about,” said Porco.

The Loy Norrix NHS has hosted the blood drive for over 30 years.  With help from the Red Cross, volunteers donated a total of 84 pints of blood.  This selfless act, which only takes around ten minutes per person, could save up to 252 people.