National Honors Society hosts blood drive

Luke Wooldridge, senior, donated his blood during the March 7 blood drive.

The National Honors Society hosted a blood drive on Thursday, March 7, with students signing up to donate in the cafeteria during all lunch periods. NHS students walked around the cafeteria with information about who could donate, how the process worked, the benefits of donating, and how to sign up. In total, the Central body donated 86 units of blood on Thursday.

This year, the Heartland blood center, which has had a relationship with the school, drew students’ blood.  Business Professionals of America Club used to run the blood drive, but four years ago NHS took over. This year, there was a greater need for donations since many of the other Chicago area high schools that were scheduled to donate throughout January had to cancel due to extreme cold and snow

“Our goal every year is to exceed 100 donations, and we’re currently on pace to do that,” said Ms. Gina Chandler, co-sponsor of NHS. “One blood donation can be used to save three lives.”

In order to donate, students needed to be at least 16 years old, weigh 110 pounds, and be in good health. Students who have too low iron levels, too high heart rates, or have traveled to certain places in a certain duration of time were not able to donate. You can be exposed to malaria through travel, which can defer donors.

“I was excited to donate blood because it was my first time and especially after hearing about the rewarding feeling you get afterwards, so I was very disappointed to find out that I couldn’t donate because of traveling to India this summer,” said Nidhi Gopagani, senior.

This year, NHS changed the logistics of the blood drive so that students could register to donate blood before their appointment time. This helped save much of time students spent waiting around in the field house. When it came time to actually donate, students had gold passes delivered to their classes so their teachers would excuse them to participate in the drive.

“[I was] looking forward to donating blood, and knowing that someday, someone’s life will be made better because of it.  Donating blood is a simple way for someone who’s healthy, like me, to help those who aren’t as fortunate,” said Rachel Fuechtman, senior, who both volunteered and donated blood.

 In conjunction to the blood-drive, NHS hosted a “stuff the truck” project, where students donated non-perishable food items and other necessities, benefiting the People’s Resource Center in Westmont.