Students donate a pint for a pint

This past month, each student had the chance to save up to three lives.

During the annual blood drive, held on campus on Jan. 29, 48 students decided to spend part of the day donating blood to those who need it.

The drive was a Red Cross event sponsored by ASB, with Sophomore Reva Kulkarni and Senior Mitch Brown as co-chairs. Their work, which began a month in advance, included contacting Red Cross, coordinating sign ups, organizing volunteers, addressing safety and liability concerns and publicizing the event.

“In the time leading up to the event, I saw the dedication and passion that these two had for the event. I think the success of the blood drive really exemplifies their hard work,” Senior Jun Bang said.

ASB advertized the blood drive in a variety of ways, mostly through social media posts (Facebook and Twitter) and announcements at school. The decision to make Jan. 29 a spirit day – Red Day – reminded students to sign up to donate. Senior Alex Chung , Sophomores Kasey Tatis and John Chong and Freshman Joshua Kim even took turns dressing up in a heart costume and promoting the blood drive to students around campus. As an added incentive, ASB offered donors a pint for a pint: a carton of Baskin Robbins ice cream in exchange for half an hour of their time and a bag of blood.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, each pint of blood can save at least one person, and, depending on the type of transfusion, can save up to three people. The school’s event is just one of 200,000 Red Cross blood drives that take place each year. The blood collected makes up about 40 percent of the nation’s total supply and supports patients in 2,700 hospitals, according to the organization’s website.

Bang realized how rewarding the experience would be after listening to Brown share his mother’s experience as a nurse who interacts with patients in need of blood transfusions.

“Mitch told me that when patients come out from surgery, they are pale, weak and mentally and physically drained. However, as soon as they received the blood transfusion, the patients are instantly energized as if they had become whole new people,” Bang said.

As promised, each donor received a free pint of ice cream for his or her donation. But for many students, the real reward was helping those whose lives depended on the these transfusions.

“With so many students willing to donate their blood, it goes to show how important many high school kids think helping others is,” Senior Eunjin Seo said.