Students encouraged to help save lives by giving blood


Joe Clever

Cole Erusha ’23 gives blood during the blood drive last school year. The goal is to collect 40 units of blood this year.

Student Council has organized the annual Fall Blood Drive to occur on Nov. 3 in the gym for students aged 16 and up. The goal is to collect 40 units of blood.

“This is a way that, even during the confines of the school day, we can actually perform a really good service and literally save lives,” Director of Activities Michael Russo said. “Not to diminish shoveling driveways, but your service on that day, November 3, can literally save somebody’s life.”

The blood drive will go from 9 am to 1 pm. Sign up’s end Nov. 2, and you can sign up via an email link from Mr. Russo. Students will need a Photo ID and the last four digits for their social security number to give blood.

“A typical appointment probably takes about 45 minutes from entering the gym until leaving the gym,” Mr. Russo said. “Maybe about 15 to 20 minutes of that is actually donating blood.”

Students of 16 years of age are required to have a signed paper from parents giving permission to donate, while any older students may go independently.

I wouldn’t say it was like, super fun, but it was also, you know, enjoyable, the fact that what you’re doing is worthwhile, and you’re helping people in need.”

— Landon Potts '23

“If you are going to be competing in the next 24 hours, or 48 hours, you shouldn’t donate blood.” Mr. Russo said. “But if you were just going to go to basketball practice, you’re probably okay, as long as you’re not going to push your body to the 100% limit.”

The nurses of Mercy Hospital, who are working the blood drive, are aware of common fears potential donors might have, and they have stated that the blood donated will stay local and is used to help the residents of St. Louis. Donating blood comes at almost no cost to the donor while simultaneously saving three lives with just one donation.

“I wouldn’t say it was like, super fun, but it was also, you know, enjoyable, the fact that what you’re doing is worthwhile, and you’re helping people in need,” Landon Potts, a senior who has donated before, said. “I was a little worn out at the end of the day and probably hungry at first too. You kind of feel your blood sugar getting pretty low, so you drink a bunch of apple juice and, you know, eat a bunch of snacks or whatever.”

Almost anybody can give blood. The nurses will ask questions before the process starts to determine whether it is a good idea or not, so anybody feeling sick is still encouraged to sign up.

“We don’t want anybody to self-select that they shouldn’t give blood,” Mr. Russo said. “If you were to walk in and you were to sign up to donate blood, they’ll ask you a little bit of a history. There’s a chance that somebody based on their confidential answers will be asked not to give blood. I even have a heart condition and I can give blood.”

After your donation you’ll be given a card with your blood type and information on it and a t-shirt. Students wearing the t-shirt may be out of dress code on Nov. 4.

“It’s a rare opportunity in our life that we get to save somebody else’s life, and all it takes is a little bit of time and a little bit of our thought and compassion,” Mr. Russo said. “So I would really encourage everybody to take the opportunity to literally save somebody else’s life.”