Students save lives, one pint of blood at a time

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Xing Yen Quek

THE RIGHT BLOOD TYPE - Senior Edison Lin takes time to donate blood during lunch at the Red Cross Blood Drive.

Senior year to-do list: SATs? Check. College applications? Check. Save lives? Check.

Although Diamond Bar High School seniors were swamped with college applications, many of them still made time to give blood. Through the DBHS American Red Cross organization and its recent blood drive, many seniors seized the opportunity to donate a pint of blood.

Each year, with the exception of last year due to the teacher union strike, Red Cross hosts one blood drive per semester. This past blood drive, hosted on Nov. 19 in the gymnasium, was the first of two this school year. Because anybody of age 17 or older was eligible to donate blood, Red Cross club members searched campus high and low for donors, particularly seniors, who met the weight requirements for their heights and were willing to donate.

“I feel really happy that I’ve made such a difference in people’s lives. Especially because today there are a lot of issues going on like the tornado and the Philippines stuff,” senior Elaine Kim said.

Initially, approximately 80 donors signed up, but by the end of the blood drive, a total of 112 people gave up a bit of their time and their blood. In the end, 87 pints of blood were collected, which will potentially save 261 lives.

“I’m excited that the students [had] the chance to donate blood and [for] the potential lives [we] can save,” Red Cross President junior Kelvin Pang stated.

Despite the success of the blood drive, the officers had to work together to overcome sudden obstacles when the distribution of parental consent forms was delayed. Consequently, several of the officers had to leave their classes to send out the consent forms themselves.

Nevertheless, the officer board successfully jumped over this small hurdle, which did not affect the overall, positive outcome of the blood drive.

“We were a little unprepared,” Red Cross fundraising officer junior Crystal Xiao admitted, but she still “felt [that] the blood drive was very successful”.

To effectively host the blood drive, Red Cross members volunteered to work different shifts throughout the day, starting from 5 a.m. to 2 p.m. The club also provided cookies and juice to donors after they had donated blood.

Since the regional Red Cross representative will be giving a trophy to the school with more donors, at the next blood drive, the officers are hoping to exceed 150 donors to beat Walnut High School’s 130. Next year’s blood drive is tentatively set for April 14.

“I think [the officers] did really well, especially since we have such a young officer group,” Red Cross club adviser Teresa Hebert proudly stated. “I’m really happy that the student body came out to donate.”