GIVING ONE PINT AT A TIME: Gering students donate blood for the community blood bank

Adam Flowers, Staff Reporter

HOSA future health professionals has recently just held their annual blood drive. This is their fifth year of hosting the blood drive.

  “We want to contribute to the community blood bank,” said HOSA sponsor and science teacher, Pearl Johnson. “At times, I know that our community blood bank is low on certain types of blood.” She as well as numerous students think this is a great opportunity to serve the community by donating blood.

  “What we do is we put up posters in the hallways and then I have the president and vice-president of HOSA sign up students that are interested in donating blood. We try to increase the amount of blood donations from year to year.”

  To donate blood, you must be 16 years old or older. Students that are age 16 must sign a parental release form and students that are 17 and older can willingly donate if they are interested. This year, there were 34 students interesting in donating. A lot of the students were first time donors, one of them being senior Deacon Dameron.

  “I decided to donate blood because growing up, I’ve always wanted to contribute to stuff like that,” said Dameron. “My parents have always given blood, a lot of my family always has, and I’ve always just looked forward to the day I’d be able to do that and contribute to helping other people that way. There’s nothing to lose by giving a pint to help someone else and save a life.”

  Regional West Medical Center nurse Amy Smith believes that it’s very important to be a donor and you can receive a lot of benefits from doing so.

  “You save three people’s lives by donating.” said Smith. She started donating and working for the donator’s center because she suffered health complications. She needed 40 units and without donors, she wouldn’t be here.

  A lot of students said that when you donate blood, you can get an overwhelming sense of gratitude. Nurse Mercedes Finkey overwhelming agreed with this.

  “A lot of people feel better when they give blood,” said Finkey. “Not only that, but they feel like a sense of relief for helping in the community.”

  When it comes to donating blood, there is a fear of needles and passing out, so many people feel very uneasy about donating. Junior Riley Gaudreault explained that you shouldn’t necessarily be afraid to donate.

  “It’s more of a mental game than anything,” said Gaudreault. “The more you think about it, the more you get nervous, but [if you have] a positive mindset, there’s a positive outcome.”