Students donate blood, time

On September 30, the school’s annual blood drive took place.

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Brenna Outten

A student gives blood. Many students donated blood for the first time in their lives last week.

Ethan Zakrewski, News Editor

The American Red Cross paid their yearly visit last week as students and teachers gave up their time and blood for those in need.

Heidi Bartlett, healthcare science teacher, is surprised at the popularity of this yearly event, stating “It’s an annual thing we do, but when I started it seven years ago, I didn’t think it would be this thing that all the students would do. I thought it would be more of something the teachers did,” Bartlett stated, “but I didn’t realize the amount of students that really want to get involved and help people.”

By all accounts, the blood drive has been an overwhelming success with Bartlett stating “I am sure that we’ve given well over 1000 pints of blood. That’s a lot of lives that have been saved by students at Ola.”

A large amount of the student population got involved in this blood drive. While most just donated, many members of the HOSA- Future Health Professionals club got involved assisting Red Cross personnel. Caryle Byer, senior, did both and stated, “besides giving blood myself, I get people from their classes and bring them to the blood drive.” Kaylee Blount, sophomore, was with Byer. She stated, “we take them back to class if they feel sick. We get them drinks and ice if they need it, and we do anything else that Ms. Bartlett or the Red Cross team needs.”

The students that did get involved had a variety of reasons for doing so. Bartlett stated “I think there’s a lot to say about the hearts of the Ola community. In my class, I tell a lot of personal stories to make sure people know that what they do can make a difference.” Blount decided to assist because “I’m a HOSA officer, and Ms. Bartlett asked us if we wanted to do it. Also, I thought it would be a good opportunity to get up close and personal with everything in the medical field.” Byer gave blood for the experience, he stated “I hadn’t done it before. There’s a first time for everything. Why not now?” Lindsey Stevens, senior, also donated blood. She stated “I felt like I could save a life by donating.”

Students have high hopes for next year’s blood drive, and Blount stated “everyone should donate.”