La Salle Holds Spring Blood Drive

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  • Participants were given a sticker after volunteering, and the sticker they received depended on the outcome of the success of their donation.

  • Three students wearing T-shirts earned from donating blood and volunteering.

  • La Salle has been partnering with the organization Bloodworks Northwest since the early 2010s.

  • Students who wished to donate blood had to get a permission slip signed by their guardians and be dismissed from classes for their assigned donation time in the gym.

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For the second time this school year, La Salle held a blood drive, where students and staff were able to volunteer to donate blood during allotted times throughout the school day in the La Salle gym on Wednesday, May 10.

Partnering with Bloodworks Northwest, religious studies teacher and Director of Service Ms. Sarah Maher organized and ran the drive with the help of student volunteers. 

“I think it’s one of the easiest things people can do to give forward, not give back, and to do service,” Ms. Maher said.

Going into the drive, the goal was to get 64 donors, or at least exceed the 55 that they got during the fall blood drive, but due to sporting events and AP testing, Ms. Maher said it was more difficult to get people to sign up. However, the smaller turnout ended up being a good thing, as things ended up not going completely as planned.

According to Ms. Maher, they were short-staffed on bloodwork technicians and the schedule was delayed by emergency medical events — including people passing out and getting sick — that paused bloodwork for a short period, forcing event leaders to turn away a few donors towards the end for lack of time.

“It was a little wild,” Ms. Maher said. “I don’t know if kids didn’t eat enough or drink enough. We had quite a few bad reactions, but we had a lot of success, too…So we just got really behind, but in the end, I think we did pretty well.” 

The number of obstacles the blood drive faced this spring was uncommonly high compared to past blood drives. During the fall blood drive, 54 of the 55 volunteers were able to donate blood, whereas this time, more volunteers were turned away before they started because of medical ineligibilities, like iron deficiencies and sensitive veins, or had to stop in the middle of the technicians taking their blood due to fainting or sickness.

Senior and student volunteer Raphael De Leon said, “It was stressful seeing all of it happen.” De Leon, who volunteered for the fall blood drive and was one of a number of student volunteers who took time out of class on Wednesday to help those donating, said that, while he’s ineligible to donate himself, “I knew I wanted to help people.”

Having a blood drive at La Salle that was made directly available to students was something some appreciated, as it made giving blood feel more accessible and forefronted action they wouldn’t usually consider.

For junior Olivia Fuchs, having the drive on campus was something she said made donating blood an easier task “because it’s not something you usually think about,” she said. Without the drive in the gym on Wednesday, Fuchs said that she likely wouldn’t have sought out an outside clinic or organization to donate and that the event at La Salle encouraged her to donate.

“When it’s not with La Salle, you have to find a place, set up an appointment, and drive to a different location,” said senior Sid Lefranc, who has now donated blood a total of four times, two of those times being at La Salle as of Wednesday’s drive. “But when it’s at La Salle, you’re already here, you’re at school, they do most of the work for you.”