Donating to save lives

Community experiences blood shortage


Anna Velazquez

Student Council and Carter BloodCare prepare for the annual blood drive on Friday, May 7.

Student Council has partnered with Carter BloodCare to organize a blood drive for students and staff. The drive will be held in the arena and auditorium foyer and is scheduled for Friday, May 7 from 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

The blood drive, coordinated by student activities director Allison Stamey, has been going on for more than 25 years. This event, usually held twice during the school year, with this year as an exception, is facing some new changes. Because of COVID, Student Council and Carter BloodCare have had to adapt their methods to recruit donors.

“We are on stage during lunch making sure to allow students to sign up for the blood drive [and] also promoting it on social media, since a lot of virtual students are out of the loop,” senior class community service officer Alicia Rivera said. “We want to give everyone the same information and opportunities to sign up.”

Students above the age of 17, who meet the 110 lb. minimum weight requirement, are allowed to donate blood. Carter BloodCare also requires donors to fill out a questionnaire before their scheduled donation time through the CBC QuickScreen app. Along with this, strict safety procedures are being enforced on donors and the Carter BloodCare staff. 

“We require everyone to wear a mask,” Carter BloodCare consultant Susan Holt said. “We require donors to schedule appointments and ask [them to] complete their donor questionnaire in advance. We are sanitizing all of our equipment between each and every [person]. This process takes time and therefore keeps us from being able to process as many donors per hour.”

High school blood drives make up 25% of the community’s blood supply. With low participation from all the high schools in the district and the general public, the community is experiencing a blood shortage. 

“Our blood donations are huge to this area and they are having a shortage without our drives,” Stamey said. “We have always partnered with Carter Bloodcare. They guarantee our local blood supply stays here and helps our community.”

As a whole, Carter BloodCare has noticed fewer people donating blood due to fear of catching COVID. Although this blood drive is not expected to reach the same numbers as previous blood drives, StuCo hopes to fill the 210 time slots.

“I know this year people are more hesitant to donate blood, but I do want to reach [our] goal since it would go a long way [in] saving lives and helping others,” Rivera said.

As the donation day gets closer, Rivera and other officers are pushing the promotion for the blood drive. The officers say recruiting people for donations has not been easy, but they hope their efforts have a positive impact on the community.

“The need for blood does not stop, so we must persevere in our mission and do all that is possible to convince people that we need blood and that it is safe to donate,” Holt said. “People’s lives depend on it. We are in a very difficult situation in trying to maintain an adequate community blood supply. We need help.”