Students Participate in Semiannual NHS Blood Drive


Junior Alex Smothers donates blood on Oct. 28 at 12:00 pm in the upper gym. After the students finish donating blood, they are given snacks, time to rest, and free t-shirts.

Zainab Khan, Radical Reviewer

On Oct. 28, the National Honors Society hosted the semiannual Blood Drive at North in the upper gym, where students had the chance to donate blood anytime between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. This semester, North donated 62 units of blood with the initial goal of 75 units of blood.
“Seventy-seven registered donors [signed up this year], which meant that as many as 166 lives were impacted,” said senior Yuki Chen, who was in charge of the blood drive.
Chen stayed at the drive the entire day to make sure everything ran smoothly. She also met with the blood drive Donor Relations Consultants to plan the drive.
“Last year, Joshua Prila organized it. The coordinator changes each year based on whoever is parliamentarian of NHS,” said Chen.
Chen saw the blood drive as both her duty as an NHS member and as an opportunity to do the right thing and impact someone’s life.
“I organized the blood drive because it is part of my responsibility as a National Honor Society board member,” said Chen. “The four pillars of NHS emphasize character, service, scholarship, and leadership, which is something that the drive also focuses on.”
Students who gave blood had to be 17-years-old and meet certain criteria. Students who were 16-years-old could donate with parental permission.
“There is a long process where the blood drive representatives check if it is safe for you to donate,” said Chen. “After that, you are seated in a chair where they draw your blood. Then you are bandaged and sent to rest for at least 10 minutes on a rug with snacks and drinks.”
NHS sponsor and social studies teacher Scott Nilsen believes that it is important for students to participate in blood drives and help those in the community that may need it.
“The blood drive is an opportunity for students at North to donate blood that gets recirculated to area hospitals to be used for medical treatment to help the people that need it,” said Nilsen.
The blood then gets transported to local hospitals around the area by a nonprofit organization called the Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center, who takes the blood and distributes it to patients that need it.
“The group that comes in and runs the blood drive is a group called the Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center, and they have a relationship with various hospital groups in the Eastern part of Missouri and the Western and Southwestern parts of Illinois,” said Nilsen.
Students signed up for a variety of reason, and many understood the need for blood and the impact donating blood has.
“Students [should] donate their blood because there is a big shortage of it. It’s always in need at hospitals,” said junior Sarah Fatzinger, a member of the National Honors Society.
“Blood is medicine, and blood expires. There constantly needs to be an additional supply of blood to help people out,” said Nilsen. “Every unit of blood that gets donated, you can save up to three lives.”
As for the students who did not get to donate during this drive, NHS will be organizing another drive on February 28, 2020.