A drive to remember

HOSA hosts the annual Jim Johnston Memorial blood drive


Samantha Vojslavek

Donating blood for the first time, senior Luke Hudek participates in the spring blood drive. Walking into the drive with no experience, Hudek’s emotions flexuated but was surprised by the ease that came with donating. “Overall, I had a good experience, and it’ll be very beneficial to keep donating,” Hudek said. “I want to donate in the future because nothing bad can happen to me and only good things can happen to people who need the blood.”

Samantha Vojslavek, Features Editor

Among the various Red Cross Blood Drives that occur each year, this spring drive occurring on Friday, May 6 was run for a bigger purpose outside of helping to save lives. 

In 2014, former Millard West faculty member Jim Johnston was tragically killed in a biking accident. He is remembered as a man who established several important policies here at Millard West, as well as helping to develop the lacrosse programs to get the teams where they are today. Johnston carried a great passion for donating blood and was diligently involved in the several blood drives run by the school each year, so in his honor, the American Red Cross established the spring blood drive to remember his legacy.

The spring blood drive is the most special because it is the Jim Johnston Memorial Blood Drive in honor of the person who started the blood drives here,” HOSA sponsor Jeanne Meyer said. “So many people rely on blood products from car accidents, transfusions and cancers. We are so grateful that we can help provide this life saving product by offering blood drives at our school.” 

In order to ensure the success of the drive, several HOSA members were heavily involved to prepare for the event, as well as allow the day to proceed smoothly. Each block, 12 volunteers filled Wildcat II to assist the donors and other workers. Members ran the check in tables, helped to escort donors to the waiting area, and assisted if anyone was feeling light-headed or nauseous after donating. 

We advertised the blood drive by going to classrooms individually to get people to sign up, advertising on the morning and daily announcements, and putting QR codes on posters around the school,” senior Erin Schuette said. “It’s always cool to be a part of blood drives to help make a difference, but it was even more special to be part of something in remembrance of Johnston because he was the one who brought the HOSA community to Nebraska.” 

Prior to the drive, a goal was made to receive 115 units, but the drive was able to exceed this goal by collecting a total of 128 units of blood from the donors. This number of donations can go towards improving the life of 384 people. Amidst the donors, senior Megan Schubert gave blood for her third time. 

“I wanted to give blood again because of the current blood shortage,” Schubert said. “Both the Red Cross and HOSA members made the process very smooth, and I’m glad I got the opportunity to save lives.” 

Walking away from the drive with much success, this year’s spring drive produced a significant impact for the Red Cross, as well as those who continue to remember and honor Johnston everyday.