Whether students and faculty at UDHS wanted to make a difference by saving lives, or just wanted to get out of class, everyone got the opportunity to do both at the Red Cross Blood Drive. On February 24, the Key Club sponsored the drive, which was able to collect a total of 109 pints of blood. Amazingly, this has the potential to save over 200 lives. Volunteers and donors shuffled in and out of the Auxiliary gym from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm, whether they were giving blood or handing out water and snacks to those who were recovering.
The Key Club decided to host this miraculous event after Dr. Callahan suggested that the school should host a drive. Mr. Gesing, the head of the Key Club, jumped at the opportunity to turn this idea into a reality. Since then, club members, students and faculty have made the event a success.
Prior to the drive, those who at least 16 and interested in donating were required to read pamphlets as well as talk to the Red Cross workers about their health history. However, a big factor stood in the way, which prevented several from donating: needles. Why would someone want to cut class just to get a big needle in their arm? However, the actual process of giving blood was virtually painless. Mr. Gesing, who was brave enough to donate 2 pints of blood, recalls his experience: “It’s normal and natural to be nervous but at very worst it’s just uncomfortable. It does NOT hurt.” Also, donors used the philosophy of “hey, I’m saving a life” to help get through the donation.
For those who weren’t interested in donating, or were too young to donate, they had several opportunities to volunteer at the drive. Whether they were holding the hand of a donor and giving them encouraging words, giving water to those who were about to donate, or assisting donors recovering, volunteers were working hard to make sure that the drive ran like a well-oiled machine. Rose Listman, a freshman volunteer, stated, “The blood drive gave me an opportunity to help the Upper Dublin community, even though I was too young to donate.” Mr. Gesing, agreed with her statement and believes that “it’s an amazing opportunity for students to put their best foot forward and help people in need without expecting anything in return.” Regardless of age or qualification, everyone who was willing to take the time to help made a dramatic effect on the turnout of the drive.
In the coming years, all students should consider donating or volunteering for the Red Cross Blood drive. By participating, they can supply blood for hospitals all around the interstate area. Every pint of blood is already directed to a local hospital and even though donating may be uncomfortable or time consuming, it is a very important step in saving lives. Thank you to Mr. Gesing and all of the students and faculty who helped host this successful event. Hopefully, next year, the blood drive will be a success once again!