Every two seconds someone in the United States needs blood, and every day, Americans need approximately 36,000 units of red blood cells. A single donation of blood makes a big impact. One donation can save up to three lives.
This year, DHS Seniors and faculty donated 44 pints of blood to Ochsner Blood Bank on Nov. 9, according to Ms. Charlene Ford, the senior faculty coordinator. “I’m very proud of how many seniors signed up and donated. We filled up most of the time slots and had students donating all day, including at lunch,” said Ms. Ford.
The fact that one donation can save multiple lives made an impact on senior Morgan Harlton. “I decided to give blood because I want to save three lives,” said Harlton. “Initially, I was nervous, but I put my worries aside because I wanted to be a part of something greater than myself.”
High school students make up about 20% of all the blood that gets donated. Blood donations can help car accident and trauma victims, cancer patients and transplant patients. Donated blood can be used for any patient regardless of age, gender and race, according to the Ochsner Blood Bank.
According to the American Red Cross, donating blood is critical because blood is something that cannot be manufactured, and less than 38 percent of the population is eligible to give blood. Every year,nearly 21 million blood components are transfused.
Senior Elizabeth Messonnier was one of the many students who donated. “Giving blood gave me a new perspective on helping others,”said Messonnier. She said she was nervous at first, but the small pain she felt was well worth helping those in need. “After it was all over, I felt accomplished that I participated in the blood drive,” said Messonnier.
To show appreciation to the seniors who give hope by giving blood, Ochsner will present a scholarship to one of the students who donated. All of the donors’ names will be entered into a raffle for the scholarship, which can help the recipient with college expenses. Due to the number of students who donated blood and the feedback received, another blood drive is being planned for the spring, according to Ms. Ford.First time donor, Senior Peyton Walker, is now in the scholarship raffle. “Before I donated, I was a bit nervous,” said Walker. “Once the whole process started, I was fine and actually relieved. I felt happy after because I knew I had done something that would make an impact or maybe even save someone’s life one day.”
- Macie LaFonta
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