Red Cross Club hosts annual blood drive


Nicole Chen

Michael Auld (12) lies down on an examination table as a Red Cross technician prepares him for the donation process. Signups for the 15-minute appointments began last Thursday.

by Ria Gupta and Anika Rajamani

The Red Cross Club held their annual blood drive today from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m in the Nichols Atrium.

Students who donated had to be 16 or older and meet certain weight requirements based on their height and age. Students must have received parental approval to participate in the blood drive. Teachers were also allowed to donate blood.

“It’s something that I’ve done for a whole lot of years. I usually donate anywhere between two to four times a year,” biology teacher Gary Blickenstaff said. “I think it’s important that students see that as well and understand the need.”

Red Cross Club President Abha Patkar (11) and Activities Director Andrea Simonian (10) started planning the blood drive towards the beginning of the school year. Due to the ongoing construction on campus, the blood drive this year was moved from its usual location in the gymnasium to Nichols Atrium.

“I think it’s really important because obviously, donating blood is a really good thing; it’s a really good cause,” Abha said. “What the Red Cross does is help people that need aid and who are in need of blood [following] a disaster. One donation can potentially save more than one life, which is a really good thing.”

The other challenge in organizing the drive involved working around the new bell schedule. This year’s block schedule made it more difficult to find a day suitable for the event. Prior to the blood drive, a member from the Red Cross chapter inspected the school to look for optimal locations for the event.

“Having a blood drive here, where it’s definitely much more accessible for students, is really helpful because it’s a facility that happens at the Red Cross chapter.” Andrea Simonian (10). “Some students that might not be willing to drive all the way to the chapter still do want to donate blood and do want to help other people. It’s nice to bring that kind of event closer to where they are on a daily basis.”

If construction of the new performing arts and athletics building finishes by the second semester of the next school year, the next blood drive may be held in the gymnasium.