Red Cross Club hosts summer blood drive

Sophia Comas, Sports Editor

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Everyone needs it. No one can live without it. Yet, as seen commonly during the summer months, there isn’t enough of it.

After the American Red Cross issued a nationwide state of emergency, the Manhattan High Red Cross Club decided to combat this blood shortage by hosting a blood drive in the West campus commons on Aug. 6, from 12:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., giving donors a $5 Amazon gift card for their contribution. Though it was not as large as the previous blood drives held by the Student Council, the low-key event brought in plenty of donors willing to give their blood to those in need.

“I think that giving blood is just a great way to help the community,” Ashley Savage, senior, said. “There are just so many people out there who need it.”

While plenty of parents were able to donate, unfortunate circumstances such as fast heart rates and low blood pressure deemed the majority of students ineligible. Savage and fellow club member Bakthi Nilaweera, junior, were the first students to donate, Nilaweera going first and Savage shortly following him.

While this isn’t Savage’s first time giving blood, Nilaweera had never donated before. With his mother in the donor chair right next to him, Nilaweera decided that he would join her and prepared for the nurse to insert the needle into his vein.

“I hadn’t even told my mom about it,” Nilaweera said. “I was scared of needles. I just didn’t want to mess with that kind of stuff but I just said screw it.”

Gathered around him were his friends and club members who were wishing him luck and moral support as his mom chuckled beside them. Before it happened, he said, “I hope this doesn’t hurt.”

Describing the feeling like a straw sucking on his arm, Nilaweera has already decided that he will gladly donate again and encourages others to do the same despite the small discomfort.

Red Cross Club president Elizabeth Kim and other members of the club held the same sentiment, as they continuously worked towards getting donors to come through social media announcements posted on Instagram and Snapchat. Their concern for the lack of blood and their commitment to the school made the whole event possible through the help of the Red Cross and their medical expertise.  

“Number one, it helps the people who could end up being a victim of the blood shortage and number two, it holds up the reputation of the school,” Kim said. “It helps build it up to the prestigeness that it deserves.”


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