This Valentine's Day, some SUA students showed their love for the community in an unconventional way. They participated in the annual SUA blood drive, titled “Out For Blood” with a shark theme. During this drive, students signed up for time slots and went to the gym to donate blood. They were welcomed by eager student leaders and expert Hoxworth Blood Center volunteers ready to run the stations. This year the student leaders were seniors Marjorie Anderson, Maia Bennett, Megan Bair, Sophia Heller, and Gretchen Shisler as well as juniors Elizabeth Geraghty and Sarah Geraghty. The students relax while the process occurs and then recover with some refreshments. Saint Ursula Academy puts on this event as an opportunity for students to save lives and help the sick in the community.
Student leaders give a great deal of their time to ensure the event is a success. They meet with Hoxworth, set a date, put up posters, and form a committee of girls who are willing to work hard. As a team, they gather permission slips, organize the appointments, and set up the gym. The leaders also make sure people who sign up are medically eligible to donate blood and know how to prepare for donation day. Girls have to be at least 16 to donate and must meet certain health requirements. Before their donation time, they need to get a good night’s sleep and eat a hearty breakfast.
Marjorie Anderson ‘17 has a personal connection that inspired her to lead in the blood drive. She shares, “My sister was a leader of the first blood drive when she was at SUA and helped initiate the tradition. I wanted to get involved in this drive because my family is heavily involved in giving blood.” Through her and the other leaders’ diligence, the blood drive is able to thrive at SUA.
While the blood drive is a fun and exciting event, the true reason for the event is to save lives. One person’s donation can save up to three lives. There are many people in the community who suffer from terminal illness or have experienced a life-threatening accident. Molly Alexander, a freshman at Loveland High School, has become an advocate for donating blood after it saved her life. Throughout junior high Molly fought leukemia. Her first blood transfusion occurred when she was eleven, and they continued until she was thirteen. She explains why blood donations were crucial to her healing. “When you are on chemo, your immune system drops in hemoglobin. The blood gave me the hemoglobin I needed to survive the treatment. I was really weak without enough blood, but the transfusions gave me energy to go to school more and do activities I love.” Children similar to Molly struggle through their illness and try to keep a normal childhood. She encourages people to donate blood by saying ““It really helps patients to receive blood so they can get out of the hospital quicker. For kids, you are giving them energy to keep up with their friends and overcome their illness.”
Younger students can show their support by getting informed about blood and transfusions, understanding the illnesses that need blood, and encouraging older students who are donating. This event will last long into the future, so underclassmen can look forward to signing up to donate one day too. If any student is still undecided about donating, then she can be swayed by Marge Anderson’s wise words: “Everyone should consider donating, even if they are squeamish around blood. It is ten minutes out of your day, but the rewarding feeling of helping others lasts a lifetime.”
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