STORY DAVID SEO
PHOTOGRAPH KEVIN HUANG
American Red Cross collaborated with SPHS ASB to host the first blood drive of the year in the practice gym on Thursday, December 15.
Organized by Commissioner of School and Community Tei Park, a total of 87 students came and donated blood, with estimates totalling around 70 pints. All donations were distributed nationwide to patients in need.
“I was so excited to see the huge amount of students who came out to give,” Park said. “That’s definitely one of the reasons I wanted to become commissioner; to see all our hard work and all the wonderful people who helped come together to save lives filled my heart with joy.”
The event began an hour late due to a delay of needed equipment, but experienced no further interruptions after that. Park had organized all the aspects of the drive a few weeks in advance, and even asked students to turn in their parental consent forms days early to ensure trouble-free donation. In turn, ASB was able to quickly bounce back from early struggles and reschedule all donors from 9 a.m. on.
Throughout the day, students were excused from their classes to give blood. They came to the practice gym where they were evaluated by a Red Cross official and answered questions about factors that could affect their eligibility. Then, donors were guided through the actual donation procedure, in which they could contribute either whole blood or specific components of it through a process called apheresis. This collection procedure allowed donors to give more blood, as the machine drew only the required components while the remaining fluids were returned to the donor.
Donors were given snacks and water to recover after the procedure were advised to rest for fifteen minutes and to refrain from any strenuous physical activities in the fol-lowing 24 hours. Upon leaving, students received a complimentary t-shirt designed by sophomore Finley Mullen.
“I’m extremely happy that I was able to donate today,” junior first-time donor Morgan BeVard said. “It feels awesome knowing that I played a small part in potentially saving someone’s life.”
To those who missed this drive or those who want to donate again, there will be more opportunities in the coming months. Park will will be leading ASB in organizing a Valentine’s Day drive and a spring drive in hopes of garnering even greater turnouts across school.