The annual blood drive was held at the Indiana Area Senior High School in the old gym on Oct. 10. It was sponsored by the student government association at the high school.
Students of this club, along with family and consumer sciences teacher Genna Chilson, spent a great deal of time putting the event together.
“There were lots and lots of tasks,” said Chilson. “Everyone (in the club) helped out in some way.”
Some students hung signs to advertise the occasion, others went to the radio station to announce information about the drive, and SGA President Nyla Numan even dressed up as a bloodhound to promote the drive.
Most students worked in the gym to help and encourage students, since the process of giving blood can be a bit unnerving.
Even people who claimed to have a fear of needles showed up to take part in this miraculous experience. Many participants attended, pulling through to raise awareness and help gain an understanding of what it means to contribute to someone’s life in such a personal manner. Students age 16 and older were eligible to make a donation.
“It was nice seeing all of the students there who wanted to help by giving blood,” said junior Kelsey Cunningham.
A person must weigh at least 110 pounds in order to participate in the drive, so not everyone could give.
When blood is given, it is separated into red cells, platelets and plasma. Platelets are small disc-shaped cell fragments that are involved in a process that causes bleeding to stop. Plasma is a liquid component of blood that holds the cells together and makes up about half of total blood volume. This way, when someone only needs plasma, they can simply receive plasma instead of new blood as a whole.
In total, 50 units of blood were donated that day. This will save 150 lives. It truly is an amazing feat to know that this many people are now living thanks to a number of high school students donating their own blood.
PHOTO: Indiana Area Senior High School seniors Jeanne Marie Stalteri, left, and Elle Varner volunteered their services on Oct. 10 to ensure a successful blood drive. (Erik Puskar/Indiana Area Senior High School/Submitted photo)