Taft Turns out for ’23 Blood Drive

On February 9th, Taft Charter High School ran their Spring 2023 Blood Drive lasting from 8:00 am to 2:00 pm, though workers were working with donors before and after the drive.

Many of the volunteers wearing red shirts were ASB students. In return for volunteering, they received service hours. Many found the experience personally rewarding.

Cedar Sinai provided the medical support for Taft’s ’23 Blood Drive (Sarah Stark)

ASB representative who chose to remain anonymous said, “By volunteering, I am involving myself in philanthropy, taking part in saving lives.”

The people participating in the blood drive wanted to help and potentially save people’s lives. The blood drive wasn’t restricted to just students. Teachers were also free to participate alongside students.

This year’s blood drive, although nearly identical to the previous blood drive, was viewed as more prepared and organized. “This year we were able to get organized faster, although it is still crowded with new and returning donors,” said Thalia Agopian, Junior class president.

Students who wanted to donate signed up online in a scheduled time slot. Many of the students were unable to attend the drive during their ideal time as a result of so many students signing up.

As students showed up for their appointment, a feast of food including acai bowls, pizza, and bagels was available for them as they filled out the necessary paperwork. While waiting to submit their paperwork, many students clustered together bonding as they ate or talked to one another. People who had previously donated helped to reassure the new donors of what was to come.

Students enjoy a variety of food options while recovering strength (Sarah Stark)

In advance of the drive, students under 16 required a parent or guardian signed form in order to be able to donate. Prior to donating, donors received a mandatory check-up to guarantee the safety of the donors to give blood. Privacy was given to them through temporary walls while medical professionals ensured that it was safe for the students to give blood. As a result, many students were turned away from donating blood after not meeting the requirements such as weight requirements or exposure to recent illness.

When preparing to donate blood, students are given the option of which arm they would prefer to have the blood drawn from. Along with other measures, the medical professionals sought to have the donors as comfortable as possible.

Students rest while blood is drawn (Sarah Stark)

Afterward, to prevent any injuries or harm, donors were led to another table filled with food and drinks to help regain their strength. Each donor was forced to remain seated for 15 minutes to ensure that they were safe to leave.

Unfortunately, some students were unable to easily donate blood like many others. Cots were laid out for students who experienced adverse symptoms: fainting, dizzy spells, and nausea. An ASB member commented, “Thankfully this year there were fewer casualties.”

As donors left the room, they were able to receive a gift certificate for Baskins Robbins Ice Cream or t-shirt as a gift for donating their time and blood.