First Blood Drive for American Red Cross at West High School

Clara Chin, Staff Writer

The National Honor Society at West High School organizes a blood drive annually, but Red Cross took the initiative to hold an additional drive this year.

The Red Cross Club hopes to expand their club and increase the number of lives saved. The Red Cross blood drive took place on November 18th from 7:00am to 9:45am for the community and during the entire school day for West High students. It was open to anyone who met the American Red Cross donor criteria, which includes a minimum weight of 110 pounds and age of at least 17 years.

Red Cross began preparing for the blood drive in August. President Swetha Akella (12) said, “It took a lot of preparing and organizing. It was stressful, but I think it went super well.” Their preparation included choosing the date, increasing publicity, and coordinating with the American Red Cross.

One participant was Kenneth Macareg (11), a second-time blood donor. “I really like helping others and that’s why I did the blood drive. It went even better than I expected because I got food,” said Macareg.

Donors were offered chips, water, and other snacks, as well as a $5 coupon for Acapulco Restaurants. They also received a voucher for 2 Laugh Factory and Grammy Museum tickets.

Ivan Zermeno (12), Red Cross Club member for two years, was another donor. “I prepared by trying to keep my mind straight and eat healthy food,” said Zermeno.

The number of donors was impressive, but the number of prospective donors was even higher. Not everyone who wanted to participate fit the requirements necessary.

Sam Golanoski (12) was unable to donate because of a lack of iron in her blood. “I felt kind of sad because I wanted to help save peoples’ lives, but I understood that it wouldn’t have been good blood to give to someone. Also, it could have hurt me in the process,” said Golanoski. Golanoski was one of 14 people who showed up to the blood drive but could not donate.

“There are obviously some things that could have [gone] smoother, but I expect that to be fixed next year,” said Akella.

To those who participated, West High School Red Cross said, “Thanks to everyone who donated. You each saved three lives!”

Overall, The American Red Cross Club’s hard work paid off. They reached a total of 87 donors, meaning they saved 261 lives.