DB and Walnut compete to collect blood donations

Ingrid Chan, Staff Writer

High school blood donations have become common all throughout the United States, and now, Diamond Bar and Walnut High School have decided to step up their game with a life saving competition aptly titled “Out for Blood”.

The two schools will be competing to see which one can donate the most blood with WHS’ drive on Feb. 24 and DBHS’ taking place on Feb. 25.

Thomas Malo, an account manager and representative for American Red Cross, is working alongside the schools to organize the event.

While discussing plans for this year’s drive with DB Red Cross advisor Daniel Roubian, the two decided to reignite school spirit by proposing the idea of a contest between the two Walnut Valley schools.

A competition like Out for Blood has never occurred before, and both the club members and Thomas are eager to carry it out.

“Everyone’s very excited about it and it seems like an idea that could work. We hope to turn it into an annual event,” Roubian said.

Red Cross club members will arrive at 5:30 AM the day of the blood drive to open the gym and plan out the day. At around 6 AM, Red Cross employees will come with nurses, examiners, and supervisors to set up the necessary equipment. By 7 AM, they will be ready to take student donations.

“We have a history of both campuses [DBHS and WHS] being the best in So Cal, and with this competition, knowing what our past successes has been, I feel our rivalry is one of kind. It won’t just inspire those to save lives, but it will also give the students on both campuses more of a reason to be proud of their school,” Malo said.

There are a set of requirements students must meet before even being considered as a possible donor, a few of them being written parent consent, a form, and sixteen years of age. At the blood drive, students’ weight, height, and drug history will also be examined before any blood is taken.

The past drives were able to raise about 80 to 100 pints of blood, and this year’s competition will hopefully encourage more students to donate.

“This year has definitely changed things in terms of our relationship with other schools. Usually it’s a pretty daunting idea for most people [when donating blood], but if everyone does their part or just sacrifices a little, there are some pretty amazing things that can result,” Red Cross club president senior Kathy Tong said via Facebook.

Once all the requirements are met, students will be allowed to talk with friends, read, or use their phones while blood is being drawn.

Each blood drive will have their own canteen area where students can rest after their donation for at least 15 minutes.

After students are rested, they’ll be sent back to class with a T-shirt and whatever giveaways the event will have on that day.

Eating a healthy breakfast and lunch as well as drinking water is recommended on the day of the blood drive, and students are advised not to partake in any heavy physical activities afterwards.

“For this, a lot of the officer board got involved, and I think this year we definitely stepped it up in terms of having a vision and working efficiently towards that vision,” Tong said.