By TARA JENNINGS, Staff Writer
March 4, 2019
On Tuesday, February 26, North Brunswick Township High School hosted its second blood drive of the 2018-2019 school year. The event was organized by the Student Government Organization (SGO) in cooperation with the New York Blood Center, who relies heavily upon high school blood drives to get the donations they need. With every donation able to save three lives, there is no doubt that the blood drive is an extremely important event, thus its regular occurrence at NBTHS.
SGO typically organizes two blood drives every year, one in the fall and one in the spring; however, due to the snow that forced an early closing the day of the fall blood drive, the school hosted a make-up drive last week. Everyone who donated in the fall was eligible to donate again (unless they donated through the ALYX machine, which takes two pints of blood but returns plasma and platelets to the donor), and everyone who donated in the winter will also be able to donate in May for the last blood drive of the year (with the exception of those who donated on the ALYX machine in the winter). In order to donate, students must be at least sixteen years old and weigh at least one hundred and ten pounds; any student who signs up also goes through a screening process, filling out a questionnaire and reviewing their answers with a professional, in order to make sure their blood can be safely donated.
The donation process typically takes about an hour. Students begin with the questionnaire and the professional consultation before moving onto the donation itself; following this, they are escorted to the Canteen, where they are offered free snacks and drinks. Students must remain at the Canteen for fifteen minutes before returning to class, but they are allowed to stay longer if they are not feeling well. A few weeks later, students will receive a blood donor card, which provides information about their blood type and makes the donation process easier in the future.
Overall, the event was considered a success by Mrs. Pineiro, one of two SGO advisors responsible for organizing NBTHS blood drives. “We collected one hundred and nine pints [of blood],” she explained. “Although we didn’t meet our goal, we came close and were able to help over three hundred people.”
In the weeks before the Winter Blood Drive, members of the SGO Executive Board use posters and social media to recruit donors. Every donation can save up to three lives, making this an event in which NBTHS students can truly make a difference. Photo Courtesy of the NBTHS SGO Instagram page.
Cassadie Speed, a senior at NBTHS, was one of many donors who made that possible. “It was my third time donating,” she said, “and I enjoy donating because it’s for a great cause, so more people should do it!”
Kelsey McCann, senior and Vice President of SGO, said she also felt that the event went well. “It’s really cool to see a lot of students face their fears of needles, or even just to see how good people felt after they donated,” she explained.
While the winter blood drive might only have occurred because of an unfortunate snowstorm early in the year, it was still a success. Every pint of blood collected makes a difference, and every student that signed up helped save lives; hopefully, even more people will participate moving forward so that NBTHS can continue to make a positive impact.