Editor of Production
Friday’s winter weather wasn’t able to stop members of the Jamesville-DeWitt community from donating their blood. In holiday spirit, dozens of students, teachers, parents, and others still managed to show up for SADD’s annual winter blood drive, despite the bitter cold and snowy roads.
Health teacher and SADD Club adviser Melissa Moore was very pleased with the turnout for the blood drive on Dec. 16. With over 50 donors signed up to give blood, there were more than enough people present to provide blood for those in need. “At the fall blood drive, we actually had to turn donors away, so this time we moved the blood drive to an earlier time so we could fit more people in,” says Mrs. Moore.
Blood was collected by the American Red Cross, and will be sent out to hospitals around the Syracuse area. When students donate, they often receive letters notifying them of where their blood was sent, says Mrs. Moore.
Despite his traumatic past experiences in giving blood, senior Jeff Gabriel continues to be a regular donor for SADD’s drive. “In the past two blood drives I have participated in, I’ve fainted right after donating blood,” says Gabriel. But for Gabriel, the feeling of helping those in need make all the personal damages worthwhile. “The last time I gave blood, I was sent an email letting me know that my blood was given to someone with leukemia. To know that my blood was used to help save someone’s life, that’s made all the fainting worth it,” says Gabriel.
Junior Lexie Gambacorto thought donating blood would be a “great way to give back for the holidays.” “It’s important to give back to the community. Almost all students have enough blood, but there are a lot of patients in hospitals who really need it,” says Gambacorto.
Students who donate blood were rewarded with water bottles and the “knowledge that they are saving lives” for their efforts, says Mrs. Moore. High schoolers who donate three times, volunteer for the American Red Cross for eight hours, and enlist five others to donate blood also are awarded with a red cord to wear for graduation.
SADD Club has been organizing three blood drives per year for over a decade, and they don’t plan on stopping any time soon. “There’s always a need for blood. It’s an easy way for students to give back, and it’s something anyone can do to help the community. You just have to be 16,” says Mrs. Moore. Principal Paul Gasparini doesn’t remember a time during his teaching career where a blood drive was not taking place. “It has been always been a great public service for our school,” says Gasparini.
Every two seconds, someone in the United States needs blood. “Not everyone is able-bodied. It’s really easy to do and it saves lives,” says Gabriel.