Community Council holds blood drive


Iona Lee/Chronicle

Nuzzy Sykes ’24 poses next to an American Red Cross truck driven onto campus for the blood drive.

Iona Lee

Community Council hosted a blood drive by the American Red Cross health organization Friday. The administration encouraged members from the community to donate blood at the drive, which was open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Due to COVID-19, there is a national blood shortage which may prevent people in hospitals from receiving needed help. According to senior account manager at the Red Cross Julia Kerner-Pack, 40% of their blood supply originated from public high schools until the pandemic hit.

Since schools have started reopening, many private schools are hosting drives to help alleviate the blood shortage, according to Kerner-Pack. Kerner-Pack said high school students are ideal candidates for blood donations.

“When you get a chance to give blood as a high school student, your future blood donations aren’t so frightening to you,” Kerner-Pack said. “[After donating], students have that experience in their memory banks. It’s so much easier for [experienced donors] to say, ‘Oh, I have an hour of my time,’ and donate again. [Other] people, who haven’t donated in years, would find it very difficult to have that mental energy to try something new.”

Emma Miller ’23 is a recurring blood donor but was turned away at this drive, as donation restrictions have become harsher. Miller said she was disappointed that she was unable to donate blood.

“While I understand that the restrictions are in place to keep donors as safe as possible, it is definitely frustrating when you are turned away from giving blood,” Miller said. “It’s something that I really look forward to because you have to ability to directly impact and save someone’s life, so learning that you aren’t able to donate is upsetting, especially after you have taken the time to fill out all the forms and waited in line.”

Asher Engelberg ’24 donated blood for the first time. Engleberg said he admires the cause and is thankful for the nurses and caregivers.

“I heard about the blood drive and thought that it would be a nice thing to do for people in need,” said Engleberg. “I feel like I’ve gained a greater appreciation for nurses and care workers like those at the American Red Cross who were helping with the blood drive. It’s incredible and very noble what they do and I feel like that it is too underappreciated.”