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Volunteers graciously give blood to drive opportunities

By Ben Binner
posted May 26, 2011

West students will once again volunteer to give up their own blood, knowing they will be helping to keep hearts beating. The biannual blood drive is taking place today from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m near the New Gym. Student Government, which is sponsoring the blood drive, emphasizes the moral rewards that go along with donating the vital, crimson fluid. Participants must be 17 or older (or 16 with parental consent), and weigh at least 110 pounds.

“It’s a real noble cause. They say you save about three lives for every pint of blood you donate,” said student government advisor Josh Sween.

While the benefits of donating blood are apparent, Sween advises that syringe-induced dizziness should not restrict a person from giving a pint.

“Many people ultimately refuse to give blood because they say ‘I’m scared of needles’ or ‘it’s going to hurt a lot’. So they go throughout their entire life never giving blood and doing this noble thing because they’re so worried about it,” he explained. “I try and encourage them to just try it once. Then if something happens after trying it, like passing out or it’s hurtful, then you don’t do it ever again. But don’t go through your entire life thinking it’s horrible without ever trying it.”

Junior Samantha Retzloff is enthused to be participating in the blood drive and shared her thoughts on what donating blood means to her.

“I think it’s important to donate blood because if we have something that we can give to other people who are in need of it, we should do it willingly because of the lives it could potentially save,” she said.

Student Government has been aggressively courting students to increase the amount of donors for the drive and meet its goal of 100 donations.

“We had Student Government members go around during activity period last Friday, bringing sign-up sheets to try to actively coerce students to sign up for the blood drive instead of depending on them to come down to Student Services to sign up,” said Sween. “That seemed to work really well because we had 94 people sign up, which is really good for only being a week away.”

After deciding to donate blood, there are a few things that people should know before showing up, which Sween wanted to make clear.

“Those giving blood should try and drink lots of fluids, like water, eat a decent breakfast in the morning before because you don’t want to be too anemic or have low iron levels,” he said. “Keeping hydrated is important because giving blood takes fluid out of your body, so you want to be hydrated before and after.”

Students are devoted to continuously expanding participation in the blood drive.

“We’ve done a good job this year with getting people to donate blood,” said Sween. “In a school of almost 2000, it would be nice to see a greater turnout. My goal is just to improve our program each year.”


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