Thursday, February 22, 2024

CHS hosts annual blood drive

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Cascade High School hosted its annual blood drive connected by the Red Cross. CHS ASB students and advisors collaborated with Red Cross volunteers to put on the annual blood drive. The blood drive was held in the CHS wrestling room on Monday, May 1 during school hours.

ASB advisor Ms. Robison worked alongside JayAnn Chacon, an organizer for the Red Cross, to provide the well-planned event at Cascade High School. Chacon and the Red Cross have “partnered with the school for many years. It helps students to engage with their community, knowing the importance of what it means to donate blood and volunteering.”

 ASB students, Breanna Loomis (11) and Grace Redman (10), were in charge of managing the sign-up table in front of the CHS cafeteria during lunch and flex periods. “I coordinated with our two advisors, Ms. Robison, and Mr. Betz, so we can meet with the Red Cross representative, and get everything to set it up to help it run this year,” said Redman. Both students wanted as many of their classmates as possible to participate in the blood drive and even donated themselves. “I donated last year and I wanted to do something to help the community,” said Loomis, who continued, “Grace mostly planned it, but I was helping her whenever she would need me to help with the name tags for the passes,” that the students received when it was time for them to donate blood.

Not only did Cascade students and staff donate blood, but community members from all over Leavenworth took the time out of their day to come to the high school and donate themselves. Later in the day, some running start students also showed up to donate.

ASB and Red Cross volunteers oversaw the blood drive while it is happening to assure that donors are safe and taken care of afterwards. Donors were rewarded with bottled water and their choice of treats to prevent feeling dizzy or fainting. Amongst the table of snacks was a tray of butterscotch cookies made by Carl Haberberger’s culinary class and were a big hit with the donors. The Red Cross’s top priority is for donors to be informed and keeping them safe through the process. Before donors get ready to donate blood, they go through a check up with a Red Cross volunteer and make sure that their blood is clean, and they are healthy to donate. This checkup included a temperature check and a questionnaire about recent travel or health concerns that could negatively affect a blood donation.

Students who are under eighteen years of age were required to have a parent permission slip signed to make sure that there are no health problems that could endanger them while donating blood. Seniors who are eighteen don’t need a permission slip to donate blood. “My mom has always [donated] so I’ve always wanted to do it,” said Zienna Erickson (12), who had donated last year. Staff were also willing to participate in the blood drive this year, including one of the organizers, Jon Betz, who is the sports medicine and health teacher at CHS. “I know kind of what the [safety] requirements for giving blood are and I know some of the background on what it does, impact-wise,” said Betz, who continued, “and just giving blood in the past helps too.” The blood drive ran very smoothly, however, some CHS students were upset because they signed up, but were never put on the schedule. Community members and CHS staff were prioritized since they have jobs to get back to. This made the wait time for donating surprisingly long. CHS Interact Club held a meeting the following Tuesday and presented their feedback of the blood drive, debating whether or not the school should make the blood drive a two-day event for next year so that everyone who signs up will actually have a chance to donate.

The blood drive held at Cascade High School this year was successful and was widely talked about throughout the school. It is important for students to understand what donating blood means for the community and how they can help make an impact. CHS students were well prepared to take part in their community and contribute to making the world a better place by participating in the event.

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