Upper school Red Cross Club invites American Red Cross to conduct annual blood drive

K-12+Production+Manager+Brian+Larsen+and+Anna+Arnaudova+%2811%29+prepare+to+have+their+blood+drawn.+Blood+collected+from+Monday%27s+blood+drive+will+be+sent+to+a+Red+Cross+blood+bank+in+Pomona%2C+California+to+distribute+to+hospitals+around+the+state.+%0A

Irina Malyugina

K-12 Production Manager Brian Larsen and Anna Arnaudova (11) prepare to have their blood drawn. Blood collected from Monday's blood drive will be sent to a Red Cross blood bank in Pomona, California to distribute to hospitals around the state.

by Sriya Batchu, Reporter

The upper school Red Cross Club hosted their annual blood drive in conjunction with the American Red Cross on Tuesday in the Nichols Atrium, where registered nurses drew blood from a variety of volunteers. The blood collected will be sent to a Red Cross blood bank in Pomona, California to distribute to hospitals around the state. 

“We hope by hosting a drive here, we can bring the message of Red Cross into our community,”  Red Cross Club co-vice president Sachin Shah (12) said.

16-year-olds were able to donate with parental consent, while donors who were at least 17 years old did not need parental consent. Sixteen people donated this year, while 30 volunteered to have their blood drawn last year. The donation from one person can save up to three lives.

“The amount of lives that one blood bag can save is a great reason to donate,” club public relations manager Suman Mohanty (11) said. “People might be scared because of health risks or of the needles but the people who will be drawing blood are certified and are really good at making people feel safe.” 

Upon arrival, volunteers checked in and underwent a small physical and questionnaire to make sure that they were eligible to donate. The volunteers then had 470 milliliters, about one pint, of blood drawn.

People you see every day, like elderly people or those involved in an accident recently, are getting affected by this blood shortage.”

— Nathan Sudeep

“The whole process is important to ensure that both the donor and the receiver aren’t at risk,” said Amanda Feist, a registered nurse for the American Red Cross, who helped collect blood at the blood drive. “I think it’s really cool that I get to do this. I’ve always loved helping people and this is a really cool way to see the people who volunteer to give up their time and their blood for someone else.” 

The American Red Cross is one of the biggest suppliers of blood in the world but is suffering from a critical shortage of blood, specifically type O, that is affecting how emergency rooms are operating, according to the American Red Cross website

“I don’t think people realize how much the blood shortage affects our local communities,” club treasurer Nathan Sudeep (12) said. “People you see every day, like elderly people or those involved in an accident recently, are getting affected by this blood shortage.” 

The Red Cross Club sold donuts and iced coffee as a part of their club week during the last week of January. All of their proceeds went to the Red Cross chapter in Australia to be used for disaster relief.