A Vital Gift

Yesterday’s NHS Blood Drive drew 70 first-time donors.

Virginia Lucas, Staff Writer

On Wednesday the 23rd, after over a year without an in-person blood drive, NASH once again partnered with nonprofit organization Vitalant to collect life saving blood products.

Although blood donations are always important, they’ve become more vital now than ever.  Due to COVID-19, this year has seen both a nationwide decrease in the amount of donors and an increase in the need for blood.  Hospitals around the country have been asking eligible donors to step up, and yesterday NASH students answered the call.  In total, 64 units of blood were collected during the drive, and 70 first time donors registered.

“We had 88 people signed up in total, and 88 people showed up.  Our goal was 70, so we got more than our goal,”  NHS volunteer and 12th grader Alina Zaidi said.

Logistically, this blood drive ran more smoothly than past drives.

“The time slots were pretty spread out, so it didn’t get too hectic.  People came in, they checked in, and whenever they were done they checked out.  It’s at a very set interval, so it’s been pretty relaxing being here, honestly,”  Saanika Chauk, a 12th grader and a volunteer for the drive, said.

Mrs. Oliver, the NHS teacher co-sponsor, agreed that the event proceeded without any major hitches.

We had 88 people signed up in total, and 88 people showed up.  Our goal was 70, so we got more than our goal.”

— Alina Zaidi, NHS volunteer

“The flow was pretty good during the day, and there weren’t many long wait times,” she said. “There was a small batch where there were a lot of people waiting to get processed, but compared to previous years, [it was] definitely more spaced out and fluid.” 

Some students, such as senior Mads Wilson, felt slightly sick or nauseous afterwards, possibly due to a lack of food or hydration.

“I am tired.  I am very tired and I’m a little woozy,”  Wilson said.

However, the majority of donors felt few, if any, negative symptoms, or noticed that their symptoms faded fast after resting and eating snacks.

“Initially, I felt a little lightheaded as soon as I got up, but now that I’ve eaten, I’m good,”  Jax Wilhite, an 11th grader, said.

Students’ reasons behind donating varied from a family history of donating blood to a desire to help people to wanting credit for a volunteer hour for NHS.  But no matter their motivation, blood donations will eventually help impact and save the lives of people across the country.

The in-person blood drive at NASH has ended, but Mrs. Oliver wants to emphasize that anyone wanting to participate can still do so virtually.

“If somebody wants to donate either this week or next week, they can give our NASH code to Vitalin and we’ll get credited for their donation,” Oliver said. “So if they’re more comfortable doing it at the facility or bringing a parent or guardian with them, or if they just couldn’t make it work today because they had classes that they couldn’t miss, donating on their own is an option.”

Ultimately this year marked another successful one for the NASH blood drive.  Alina Zaidi, 12th grader and NHS volunteer, wants to heartily thank all participants.

“We hope to continue this next year and get even more kids donating blood, so thank you so much to everyone,” she said.

Information on making a donation at a Vitalant Center can be found here.