CHS students are pumped to give blood

Students+signing+up+to+donate+at+the+privacy+stations+set+up+by+NHS+at+the+front+of+the+school.

Blot photo by Leigh Lustig

Students signing up to donate at the privacy stations set up by NHS at the front of the school.

Emma Barofsky

On Thursday, Feb. 13, students, faculty and parents participated in the annual CHS mobile blood drive. The event was in collaboration with Vitalant, a nonprofit medicine organization with more than 125 donation centers nationwide.

Blood drive committee head and senior Grace Quakenbush of Wall did many things to prepare for the event, such as finding students to donate and making sure that they would have drinks and snacks to eat afterward. She worked with NHS adviser and math teacher Justine Lane. In the end, they were happy with the result.

“My favorite part is seeing students have good first experiences donating. There aren’t many people that give blood,” Quakenbush said. “So, knowing that I might have just helped someone become a lifelong donor is really nice.”

This year, around 60 individuals opted to donate blood. However, many were turned down due to iron deficiency, low weight or risks from travelling abroad. According to Vitalant rules, individuals needed to be at least 16 years old and weigh 120 pounds. Junior Gianna Leccese of Colts Neck, a student who met these requirements, happily donated blood at the event.

“I felt really good after donating,” Leccese said. “I felt really good to be able to help out by giving my blood and hopefully it saves a life.”

Two weeks before the blood drive, an assembly was held to educate the potential donors. A representative from Vitalant informed students of the positive outcomes that come out of donating blood. Several students, including Leccese, were inspired to save a life by donating blood at this assembly. 

After donating, individuals were sent to room 144, also known as the wellness room for the day. The donors were able to eat salty snacks, hydrate and relax.

“I do plan on donating again next year for the blood drive,” Leccese said. “I was nervous going into it because it was my first time donating, but I had a good experience and feel good about having helped out people who need the blood donations.”