Jenison blood drive: A life saving event

April 23, 2019

Poked and prodded, the participants of Jenison High Schools annual blood drive separate an hour from their typical school day to benefit this worthy cause. Held on March 26, 2019 and organized by the Michigan Blood donation center, students had the option to partake in a life saving opportunity. 

As the announcement for the annual blood drive rears its head in the early weeks of March the first thought that often comes to mind is another excuse to miss a class or get out of turning in that assignment. But for others it is the thought and opportunity to participate in a worthy cause. As each participant gives an hour of their time, they also give a pint of their blood which may not appear to be much in the grand scheme but in actuality can save three lives.

Furthermore, by holding the blood drive in the school environment it provides an accessible outlet for students who want to donate to be able to. Holding the drive in an accessible area for students expands the participation rates and ensures higher amounts of donations from a younger demographic. Although students may miss an hour of class to compensate for the convenience, the effect on classwork is minimal. Most teachers encourage participation in the blood drive, some donating alongside students, and offer make up work for the absence. 

“I think holding the blood drive in school is a great idea. It’s not only an educational experience but a way to help others and it wouldn’t be easy to do so unless it was held at school.”

— Lauren Daugherty

Holding the blood drive on school grounds during school hours also provides an educational aspect to all students, participating or not. It aids in offering insight on the career line of a phlebotomist along with the varying aspects of the donation process, stressing the importance of a proper diet and healthy habits. The experience also explains the contrasting side of the donation process, the times when donors do not meet all requirements and what makes an unsafe donation. The opportunity may inspire new career outlooks for students especially intrigued by the task resulting in a narrower focus for further education.

Driving the experience further, students involved in the National Honors Society program gained an additional outlook. The NHS students at Jenison aided in the coordination of the drive and had an additional possibility to volunteer during the event along with the prospect of donation themselves. These volunteers procured first-hand knowledge of the operation and know outright the enormity of this affair.

An event like this benefits the greater population in more than the assumed obvious ways. It provides an educational outlook on possible career paths for young minds along with a sense of helpfulness for all students in attendance. But more importantly it provides crucial donations for those in need. It is a life saving and altering opportunity which will continue annually without a doubt, saving lives one pint at a time for many years to come.

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