Fri. Aug 19th, 2022
Christie Comer, senior and first-time donor, is excited and anxious about giving blood. Comer says it awesome how you can save lives right at school.
Christie Comer, senior and first-time donor, is excited and anxious about giving blood. Comer says it awesome how you can save lives right at school.

Leesville students once again gathered to participate in first semi-annual blood drive on Tuesday, October 15. The Red Cross comes to Leesville twice a year to hold the drives, and students get out of class to donate and save lives in need.

The drive occurs in the gym, so PE classes graciously move elsewhere on campus. In a matter of hours the Red Cross, coordinators, and volunteers transform the gym into a state of the art blood donating facility with 16 beds for donations and nearly as many history stations, where students discover if they’re eligible to donate.

Students who choose to donate have two options: single unit or double red. The difference is that with a double red the donor is donating whole red blood cells and plasma as opposed to just the white blood cells of the single unit. Students must meet more rigorous weight-to-height requirements to donate double red. Both types of donations range from one-to-two hour times.

This year the drive seemed bigger than ever. Turnout exceed 150 people. The blood drive was promoted through PrideTV and through past donors who talked about it through their classes.

The number one cause for students not donating is fear of the pain. Despite efforts by the Red Cross and volunteers to calm fear and anxiety, it will always be there at some level.

Christie Comer, senior and first-time donor said, “It didn’t hurt at all. It tickled more than anything, I actually laughed the whole time.”

Past donors urged first-time-donors-to-be to go ahead and try, that it does not hurt that badly, and that the positives far outweigh the negatives. A major positive, aside from getting out of class, is the catania. After donating students are taken to a snack station where free food, juice, and soda are given out to raise donors blood sugar back up. This year Bruegger’s Bagels participated by donating bagels and cream cheese for all of the donors as well.

But the greatest positive is that the blood donations students give go to save lives in the local community. One blood donation can save three lives and blood donations are in drastic short supply across the nation.

Shafwat Islam, junior and first-time donor said, “Of course I’ll donate again, it was too much fun not to do it again! I got to skip class, hang out with friends, and save lives all in a few hours.”

Students only real complaint, which many also be seen as a plus, was that wait times got to be a little long as the drive was backed up during critical points in the day.

However, all  mutually agreed that there was no place they’d rather be that day then saving lives through their donations.

Students also advised future donors to dress warmly. Especially since once you have the blood taken out you’ll feel even colder. The gym has to be kept cold because of the blood. However, make sure your sweatshirt is baggy enough that the sleeve can be rolled up, so that blood can be taken.

Students who did not sign up or were ineligible to donate will have another chance to participate in the March blood drive.

One thought on “Leesville’s fall blood drive is a bloody success”
  1. FOR C&E Class Ms. Mosley 3rd period. The blood drive is a great example of good citizenship on behalf of the community. We can see how everyone contributes for a good cause volunteering time and resources. But beyond just that, the coordination of this activity and obtaining the support of local businesses must be a very difficult task. This newspaper article definitely shows good citizenship by itself because it informs community members of a way in which they can make an impact in people’s lives. However, it is also clear that we may improve the donor turnout to even higher levels since at a school with over 2000 students about 150 actually donated. Kudos to the Leesville community and let’s hope we can do even better next time.

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