Four times a year The Gregory School Blood Drive Committee coordinates a blood drive operated by the American Red Cross.
The process of donating blood is fairly simple. All a donor needs to do is contact someone on the committee, set a time, show up at that time (with a signed permission slip if you are 16-17 years old), and go into the bus to donate.
In the Blood Bus, nurses provide donors with snacks and beverages to ensure that they are as comfortable as possible while donating. Even after the donation the workers on the Blood Bus make sure the donors are feeling alright and will let the donor lay on the bus for as long as they want until they are feeling better. It isn’t that scary of a process, which one might surmise.
The Blood Drive Committee has a difficult time recruiting students and faculty to donate. The American Red Cross relies on The Gregory School to get as many donors as possible, but the past couple years have been challenging. Being on the Blood Drive committee for two years now, I have experienced firsthand the struggle of convincing people to sign up and donate.
Junior Keely Breedlove, a member of the committee for two years, said, “When asking for volunteers we hear the same excuses over and over. It’s always ‘I’m scared of needles,’ or ‘I don’t like sitting for that long,’ or simply ‘I don’t want to.’” This bad attitude toward donating blood is something the committee continually works on changing to no avail.
It seems as if each Blood Drive is harder than the past. The Gregory School community is somewhat adamant about donating blood, and the committee cannot pinpoint why.
Every time the Blood Bus rolls around, the Committee finds ourselves begging and pleading with people to take 20 minutes out of their day to make simple meaningful donation.
The last drive in September was the hardest the committee has had yet. The committee members managed to get 31 donors signed up, but when the Blood Bus arrived, only 13 donors showed up for their appointments. The Blood Committee was relieved to have met the Red Cross’s minimum requirement, but it was certainly disheartening, if not plain embarrassing.
Junior Gabi Ventola said, “We are tired of pleading with people to make a simple, yet life-saving donation. We are tired of working so hard only to end up with a disappointing turnout.”
Junior Sam Groskind, who has been on the committee since his freshman year, shares Ventola’s exasperation. Groskind said, “It’s really frustrating how hard we have to work to get people to donate. A donation of blood means so much, but other than the time it takes to donate, requires very little of yourself to give.”
In the grand scheme of things, it really is frustrating. Each year five million Americans require a blood transfusion. At The Gregory School, the committee struggles time and time again to meet the goal of 18 donations. Going forward the Blood Drive Committee would like to see The Gregory School community step up and give back to those in need this holiday season.
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