Key Club Hosts Annual Blood Drive
The Key Club held their annual Blood Drive in the small gym on Tuesday, October 18. The event started once the morning announcements were over around 8:15 and didn’t end until approximately 2:45 pm.
Fourteen Key Club members participated in this event along with Ms. Mazza, Mrs. D'Urso, Mrs. Zarillo and Mr. Alberti.
In advance to the event, there were numerous responsibilities that needed to be taken care of. Tables and chairs were required due to the quantity of members volunteering in the event, so people had to go around the school borrowing them and then returning them at the end of the day. Food had to be set up so the donors could acquire some once they finished giving blood. Space needed to be cleared to ensure that there was enough room for the machines and other equipment needed to take donors' blood. Then any other tasks that were needed to be taken care of were of the responsibility of the club members.
Once the doors opened up to the potential blood donors, the students had a sequence of events to follow before actually donating blood. There was an attendance table set up in the front of the small gym that Mr. Alberti and a few club members supervised. There they wrote down the donor's name on a card, gave them another paper to take with them to their next class as proof that they donated blood, and pointed them towards a waiting table. Key Club member Victoria Rudish said, “Having a few members at each station makes for a very structured event. It allows room to breathe while also guaranteeing that everything will be taken care of.”
Following this, the donors waited until they were called up to get a fingerprick which tested their hemoglobin levels, and once that was over they patiently waited to give their blood. A hemoglobin level of at least 12.5, while also meeting the height, age, and weight requirements meant that students were eligible to donate a pint of blood. Unfortunately, if a student did not meet the requirements, they were directed towards the sign-out sheet where they would get a pass to excuse them from being late to their next class.
One pint of blood is equivalent to three lives being saved, so with 97 donors on Tuesday, 291 lives were saved in total. Various people donated, ranging from students to teachers to even some former Nutley Raiders. The vast number of donations were uneventful; however, a few people unfortunately passed out. In the event this did happen, the escorts were ready to help with whatever was needed.
If everything went smoothly, then the Key Club escorts were on standby, waiting to be called on whenever a student was finished donating blood and needed assistance getting to their next location. Once the escorts got their okay to go and help the donors, they carried the donor's bags and anything else they had with them, while also helping them walk to a seat. Key Club Secretary Marcella Blancato said, “Their escorts were very attentive. They made the day a lot easier because it took some stress off of the officers and teachers having to worry about donors on top of everything else that they were responsible for.”
Once they reached the chair, the escorts and other Key Club members made sure that they got some food and drinks back in their system. The food that was being provided for the donors were cupcakes, bagels, cookies, chips and other types of cookies. Drinks such as water and different types of juices were also on the table to make certain everyone’s blood sugar levels would go back to normal.
Once the donors were finished replenishing themselves with food and drinks, they made their way to the sign out sheet. Here Mrs. Zerillo, along with some other members, checked students out by the same process that was done for the students who did not meet the requirements to donate blood. After checking their names off the list, the student would receive a pass from one of the members excusing them from being deemed as late for class. Once this process was finished, they were encouraged to take any goodies from the event before their departure to their next class.
The Key Club will be hosting another Blood Drive sometime in April. “We are very proud of the participation and effort put in by every member of the club,” Vice President Elizabeth DeSantis said. “It’s always fun working events like this because you get to take a break from school, be involved within the community and your fellow Raiders, and are introduced to things you don’t experience everyday. We hope to see everyone at the Blood Drive in April!”