Picture by: Jeanne Meyer
In the past years, Millard West HOSA has worked together with American Red Cross to host a blood drive here at school and have held many successful events where students, staff and parents were able to meet at the school and give blood to those in need.
With COVID-19, the safety of the Red Cross staff, HOSA decided that, to keep all members safe, a virtual blood drive was best. This way, those participating in donating blood as well as helping receive it are getting proper safety.
“Unfortunately, we can not have all of the Red Cross staff here in the building as we are typing to keep the number of outsiders to a minimum right now during the pandemic,” HOSA Sponsor Jeanne Meyer said. “I worked with the Red Cross and we came up with another plan, a virtual blood drive to keep those parts of the blood drive safe.”
It is an online campaign to inspire donors to give blood at convenient off-campus blood drive centers in the community. A way to sign up is to use the link that is located on the Millard West announcement website. When they use this link, Millard West will get credit for that donation. Then, they will find an area to donate blood including the Red Cross donation centers and make their way to that site where the Red Cross staff will help them from there.
“Although, giving blood is seen to be a frightful event for some, those who do donate will feel good about doing a selfless act to save someone’s life; even if they may have never met them,” Red Cross Services account manager Ellie Wagner said. “My coworker and myself have donated blood and once it’s over, I was given the feeling of being outgoing and kind hearted because I knew in my head that my blood will go to those who truly need it.”
Twenty percent of the nation’s blood supply comes from high school and college blood drives. The Community Blood Center website states that a pint of donated blood can be used to save up to three lives by utilizing the platelets, plasma, and red cells for three different people or all the same person. According to Wagner, the Red Cross collects 13,000 pints of blood for patients across the country. The Red Cross website gives information about how the plasma from whole blood donations at any center that test positive for COVID-19 antibodies may now help current coronavirus patients in need of convalescent plasma transfusion.
“Because we are not allowed to have a blood drive at school but this way we can still get credit for the blood drive for the amount of people we recruit through the link,” HOSA Officer Emily Longe said. “But before any tests are taken, a test for COVID is taken in order to give patients healthy blood.”
The fear of blood drives is a big thing for many. The HeathLine informs that an average adult aging between 18 and up has ten units of blood. During the blood drives, they will only be taking one unit. An adult needs only six units to survive.
To sign up, one can find a link that is posted on the Millard West announcement page. There, the link will be taken to the American Red Cross Services and more directions there. Donate blood from now till December 31, 2020 and be credited for seventy-five percent of your appointments towards Rec Cross High School Program towards Program rewards.
Contact information: RedCrossBlood.org, mwhs.mpsomaha.org, 1-800-RED CROSS, 1-800-733-2767