Students Donate Blood to the American Red Cross


Seniors, Kellie Ward and Bhakti Patel, volunteering at the blood drive.

Mariana Rule

Every year, the American Red Cross comes to SWHS to find blood donors. There were many people that signed up to donate this year. The donation is a pint of blood, along with filling a few test tubes for testing your blood to ensure it is clean. Students were excited to donate and signed up weeks in advance. There were obvious anxieties from students due to a fear of needles and the possibility of passing out. 

The number of students that donated at the drive would have greatly increased if the fear of needles had not driven students away. Senior, Alex Gomes-Ferres, who did not donate blood due to her “Intense fear of needles.” Gomes says she hates getting shots, “from the doctor, hates Novocaine at the dentist, anything to do with needles is just horrible.”

Another SWHS senior, Derrick Rutkowski, was excited to be donating blood for the first time. According to Rutkowski, his father has been donating blood his entire life and he says he is not afraid of needles. He was one of the students that passed out after donating on the mat. He learned later that he “just turned really pale and was very light headed.” He further shares that he does not think he “fully passed out but just barely conscious laying there. It was only a few minutes before the wave of exhaustion went away.” There were only two students that passed out during the blood drive, both of which have no bad history with needles in the past.

Although there were a few unfortunate experiences at the blood drive, there were some returning donors who’s experience went well. Senior Esra Eljafarawi, has donated before since she has family that works closely with the American Red Cross. Eljafarawi says, “My experience this time was actually better than my first time donating. I was really nervous the first time I donated but it got a lot easier this time around.” Eljafarawi was already familiar with the process of donating blood and knew about the level of pain.

The American Red Cross will return next year and the years after to keep gaining new donors. They receive a considerable amount of new donors each year as well as some new volunteers to help run the drive from students and staff. Many of the new donors were juniors and seniors that are just now eligible to donate due to their age.