Three Lifelines: The Fall Blood Drive

HOSA’s blood drive committee prepares for this fall’s blood drive


Loukya Vaka

The fall blood drive that is organized by the school’s HOSA club gives students and staff the chance to save lives.

Loukya Vaka, Reporter

The fall season brings us a new service project brought to the school by Liberty’s HOSA (Health Occupations Students of America) chapter. The blood drive is an event that has been taking place and giving back to our community since Liberty’s opening. On this day, students and staff are given the opportunity to become blood donors to help save the lives of many. However, for such a big affair to happen, a lot of planning must go into it. This is where the blood drive committee rises up to the challenge.

The medical professionals at the ImpactLife Blood Center work with the school to make this blood drive run smoothly. By working with this organization, the blood collected at the Blood Drive goes to local hospitals and blood centers.

HOSA’s sponsor, who is the teacher of the P.L.T.W. classes Principles of Biomedical Science and Human Body Systems, Mrs. Strathman, talks about the significance of being able to give the collected blood to local medical centers.

“It stays in our community, so if any of our Liberty students and staff members have family members or themselves in need of blood, there’s a good chance that the blood that we’re getting from this blood drive will go to them,” Mrs. Strathman explains.

The professionals at ImpactLife Blood Center play a major part in the happenings at the blood drive. This group ensures that the blood that is collected helps the ones in our community. (Creative Commons)

The fall blood drive will be happening on Tuesday, Oct. 11 during school, and Mrs. Strathman has been planning for this drive since after last year’s February blood drive ended. The blood drive coordinator from ImpactLife first contacts Mrs. Strathman with future dates, and during the first or second week of school, Mrs. Strathman reaches out to the HOSA officers. A plan is then made to include this information into future HOSA meetings. The P.E. teachers, who generously provide the gym space for the day of the blood drive, as well as the administrators are also notified. After this, HOSA forms a committee of members who will help with the blood drive.

Mr. Nelson, the building principal, talks about why the blood drives at Liberty are so important.

“Blood helps people who have been in accidents and surgeries,” Mr. Nelson said. “It saves lives, so obviously we would be supportive of that.”

P.E. teacher, Coach Sodemann, expresses why getting blood donations is so crucial for the health and wellbeing of the many people who live here. 

“My son had some blood issues, and he ended up getting a blood transfusion,” Sodemann said. “I went and got myself on the donor registry because it was a scary situation; we needed the blood, and I’m glad at that time we had it available. I’d hate to imagine someone in need of blood, and they didn’t have access to it.”

Coach Sodemann also mentions how it feels to be a blood donor.

“It feels good to help other people,” Coach Sodemann said. “We all have plenty that we can give, and if you’re able to do something that helps someone else, I think that’s a great feeling.”

The blood drive committee takes charge of many of the different parts of setting up this huge event at school. They meet up to work on banners and flyers that will be hung up around the school and put in the Nest News, informing the school about the blood drive. They will also be given shifts for managing the blood drive’s sign-ups during Soar Time. Together, they do everything they can to publicize the blood drive.

Emma Thomas, a junior and the current president-elect of HOSA, explains the blood drive committee’s crucial role in setting up the blood drive each season.

“HOSA’s blood drive committee does a lot to prepare for the blood drive,” Thomas says, “…We pretty much set up everything for the blood drive.”   

The blood drive will first be advertised to all of the students so that the students are aware of the event and the requirements. After this, blood donor sign-ups will take place on Oct. 3 to Oct. 10 during Soar Time where some members of HOSA will be present. Here, the interested students will pick a time that they will come down to the gym on the day of the blood drive.    

Mrs. Strathman talks about what happens when a student is donating blood on the day of the event. 

“On the day of the event, when a student is ready to donate they come to the gym at that time, and I go through a series of questions to make sure that they are eligible to donate,” Mrs. Strathman said. “They have a little prick of blood drawn to test their iron and hemoglobin levels, and they have their temperature and blood pressure taken.”

If everything is in order and the student is able to donate, the student will be taken to a bed where a phlebotomist, a medical professional who has been trained to draw blood from children and adults, will draw their blood. After the student has donated, they will rest for around 20 minutes to make sure that they are alright. Then, a HOSA member will walk the student back to their class, making sure that the student is feeling well and will not be alone after donating.

The most important thing that you are recommended to do before donating is to eat good food and drink a lot of water the day before the event as well as the day of. This will prevent you from getting sick. (Loukya Vaka)

There are two important things that blood donors must focus on before donating blood to avoid feeling ill: water and food. Dehydration and a lack of eating are the only things that will cause sickness when or after donating. Making sure that you drink plenty of water and eat well the day before and day of donating will ensure that you do not feel sick. It is also recommended that you eat iron-rich foods, such as spinach or red meat, if possible to get your iron and hemoglobin levels up.

Donating blood is very important for there is always a constant demand for blood. Countless people who are suffering from injuries, accidents, surgeries, cancer, and numerous other medical diseases are in need of this blood for them to be able to continue to fight for their lives. Therefore, more and more blood donors are needed to allow these people to recover and overcome. In fact, a student’s one blood donation could be what saves up to three lives, what gives three people lifelines for them to grab onto.   

Amelia Huebbe, a senior who is HOSA’s current president, talked about why the students and staff of Liberty should really consider signing up to donate blood.

 “This past January, the Red Cross Association put out that we’re facing a huge blood shortage over the past decade,” Huebbe explained, “…People donating blood is so crucial. Even for surgeries or just basic transplants, blood is needed, and doctors can’t go through with these transplants without having the blood to allow people to make it through surgery.”

Information regarding the blood drive will be put up all over the school over the following weeks, so keep an eye out for it. By donating your blood to this cause, you are giving people the chance to beat their medical hardships, the chance to receive that much needed lifeline.