Every semester, North Hollywood High School hosts two blood drives, and there is always a great scramble among the students tasked with finding donors. Even after promises of skipped periods and free food, there are not many willing participants. Despite the reluctance and refusal to donate blood, where and why do all these blood drives continue to appear?
Blood donations are very important for the wellbeing of our entire community. Some reject the idea of donating blood because of their fear to needles and pain. Others refuse to donate because they like their blood, failing to realize the tremendous significance of what their blood could mean to other people.
Why should we donate blood? According to the American Red Cross, it “feels great”, “is something you can spare”, and “you will be someone’s hero.” For every pint of blood donated, three lives are saved. According to the World Health Organization, “blood is the most precious gift that anyone can give to another person — the gift of life.” Donating blood is not only beneficial to the one receiving, but also to the one giving.
On September 18, a blood drive was hosted by Gateway LA and Gateway La Crescenta, which was sponsored by the Red Cross. Volunteers were given a month’s notice to enlist as many donors as possible. As with the various tests, only about ½ of the donors had the chance to participate in the donation process. September 18 came rolling in, and there was a feeling of lull and ease in the donation room, where donors were seated patiently waiting for their turn. There were little to no participants, the vast majority consisting of only nurses and volunteers. The volunteers were sprawled out on the seats, and the donors seemed unsure of what to do and where to go. The nurses were talking to one another, because of the constant lack of patients. However, despite the little amount of blood received, the blood drive was a success. Even a minute amount of effort and blood can save a life.
Many people, friends and teachers included, believe blood drives to be a waste of time. But how often do you get the chance to do something that could so profoundly affect another person’s life? How often is it that your blood, of which you usually have an excess amount of, could be used for another person? How often is it that you are marked as an important and valued member of society? Blood drives are important, and we, as members of a compassionate society, can acknowledge the importance of donating blood by simply participating in blood drives.