Blood drive saves lives

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On October 9, the bi-annual Townsend Harris blood drive took place in the Wanda Nix Gymnasium. Though the spring blood drives are usually more successful, this year’s fall blood drive collected more blood than previous fall drives.

Artwork by Joanne Han
Artwork by Joanne Han

Once again, COSA Advisor and Mathematics teacher Aleeza Widman was the head coordinator of this year’s blood drive. Her role involved setting appointments with the organization in charge of the drive (the New York Blood Center), confirming that teachers were aware of when their students would be absent, and spreading information on the blood drive through emails and posters.

When asked about the results of the blood drive, Ms. Widman replied, “We donated 53 units of blood which is very good for the first one of the year. Last year, we donated around 40 units of blood [in the fall].”

A unit of blood is roughly equivalent to a pint of blood and saves three lives. According to Ms. Widman, seven of the units were double red cell donations, so rather than saving three lives, each of these units will save six. Although she was happy with the turnout, Ms. Widman looks forward to the May blood drive, during which more eligible students donate.

Other school members shared their thoughts about the blood drive. Principal Anthony Barbetta reflected on how he started donating blood during a time when “people were scared to donate and receive blood because of the AIDS/HIV transfusion scare in the 80’s.” His adamant support for donating blood remains strong to this day, as he mentioned how “some people don’t realize how important it is that you’re possibly saving someone’s life.”

According to Mr. Barbetta, there is always a need for blood, and donating is a selfless act which not only satisfies this need, but is also the right thing to do.

When asked about his reasons for participating in the drive, senior Nick Meyerson affirmed, “I donated blood because it’s something I actually believe in doing.”

Nick, who has been donating ever since he was a freshman, revealed that he does this to give back after blood donations once greatly helped a relative of his.

Junior Alyssa Watson added, “It’s for a good cause. I really want to help people.”