National Honors Society prepares for first blood drive of the school year

Delaney Bryson, Writer

The first blood drive of the school year is set to be held on Monday, Oct. 9. National Honor Society Chairs seniors Ariana Mansour and Brandon Bossenberger have been preparing for the blood drive for over a month, working to set up and encourage students to donate blood.

“I think the biggest reason to donate is that one pint saves three lives,” Mansour said. “There is always a need for blood and so many lives have been saved. My personal goal for this blood drive is to make sure that everything is organized to the best of my ability, and that I ensure that everything in my control runs smoothly. As a whole, our goal is to collect as many pints of blood that we can, to save as many lives as we can.”

Occurring three times a year, blood drives are organized by the chairs and co-chairs of NHS. Together, they find a date that works for all of them and then head into SRTs to start helping students sign up to donate.

“From beginning to end, it takes one student 10 to 15 minutes to get their blood drawn,” NHS advisor Charles Miller said. “Then, [Michigan blood] distributes back into the mid-Michigan area, so the blood that students donate might just end up back in one of the hospitals we would go to. This means it could possibly even end up saving someone they know.”

This year will be NHS’s first year working with Michigan Blood instead of their previous sponsor, American Red Cross. Members first worked with Michigan blood over summer break, during a blood drive held on July 19.

“For the previous year’s blood drives, we have used American Red Cross, then we were offered an opportunity with Michigan Blood,” Bossenberger said. “We gave them a try over this summer with our very first summer blood drive and loved how smooth and cooperative Michigan Blood was. They were overall quicker and more efficient. We knew right then it was time to switch. We are still on good terms with Red Cross and they understand why we made the switch.”

Before switching from American Red Cross to Michigan Blood, the chairs of event often had problems such as keeping students hydrated enough to donate blood. Since switching, members have yet to run into many problems.

“I would say that so far, our only big problem during blood drives has been having too many people [in the auxiliary gym] at once,” Bossenberger said. “It slows down the process and sometimes makes it so that we cannot make through everyone’s appointment that signed up.”

In order to fix this problem, Bossenberger recommends that students wait to arrive at the auxiliary gym until it is time for their appointment. He also encourages students not to feel rushed to leave the gym until they are ready to go back to class.

“To people who are nervous to donate blood- it is totally fine,” Mansour said. “The process is much easier than it seems and they will not let you donate if it is unsafe for you. They really care about your health so the process is made for the donor; you drink water to hydrate first, the when you donate you aren’t on the hospital like beds that American Red Cross brought- they are kind of like anti-gravity chairs. Then after [the donation] you eat peanut butter and jelly, cookies and juice to bring your blood sugar back up and then you feel the same as you did before [donating].”

Students can sign up for an appointment here. Those who donate one pint of blood will receive a coupon that can be redeemed for one pint of Culver’s custard. There will be two more blood drives, one in January and the other in April.