Rebuilding high school blood drives to pre-pandemic levels has been a tough hill to climb, but the Urbana High School Hillclimbers have what it takes.
The UHS Choir hosted Urbana’s winter blood drive on Feb. 17 in the school gym and topped 120 percent of the collection goal with 32 donors.
Urbana hosted at least two blood drives per school year during the pandemic for Community Blood Center and returned to their full schedule of three blood drives last year. In 2021-2022, they totaled 62 donors, including 25 first-time donors. The fall and winter blood drives for 2022-2023 have already combined for 57 donors and 31 first-time donors with the spring blood drive still to come on April 18.
“This is our third year,” said UHS Choir Director, music teacher and blood drive coordinator Rusty Myers. “Because we were interrupted by COVID, this is our third year doing it.”
The National Honor Society sponsors the fall blood drive, followed by the UHS Choir in winter and Student Council in the spring.
“I think it’s important they understand that life is about much more than just themselves,” said Myers as he donated alongside students at the Feb. 17 blood drive. “It’s an easy opportunity to do something small and make a big impact. It’s a big impact on the people they help, knowing others receive their donations.”
First-time donor Zach Maser may only be 16, but he has a strong sense of empathy toward anyone who might benefit from his blood.
“Because I can save lives with it,” said Zach. “I can only imagine myself in their shoes. Like my grandpa when he needed blood. You can picture what it’s like.”
Senior Kameron Mitchel made her second lifetime donation and said, “I donated before and wanted to do it again.”
Junior Abby Adams was motivated to make her first lifetime donation because she wants to work as a phlebotomist while in nursing school.
“I think I should be donating,” said Abby. “I think everybody should be donating. Might as well. People need blood all the time in the hospital. Sometimes there’s not enough, and that could risk someone’s life.”
Blood donation requirements: Donors are required to provide a photo ID that includes their full name. Past CBC donors are also asked to bring their CBC donor ID card. Donors must be at least 17 years of age (16 years old with parental consent: form available at www.givingblood.org or at the Dayton CBC and mobile blood drive locations), weigh a minimum of 110 pounds (you may have to weigh more depending on your height), and be in good physical health. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) changes blood donor eligibility guidelines periodically. Individuals with eligibility questions can email [email protected] or call (937) 461-3220. Make an appointment at www.DonorTime.com.
Community Blood Center/Community Tissue Services® is an independent, not-for-profit organization. Community Blood Center provides blood products to partner hospitals and health centers within its 18-county service area of western Ohio and eastern Indiana and to select hospitals and blood centers outside the region. For more information visit www.givingblood.org.