NC hosts blood drive

Students donate blood benefiting community


Avery Jasinski ‘24 in Vaughan Gym donating blood on Thursday, Oct. 6. (Cummings/LION)

Jaclyn Cummings, Reporter

On Oct. 6, LT hosted its first blood drive of the school year. Running from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the NC Vaughan Gyms, around 43 volunteers gave blood to Versiti, resulting in 40 blood products that can help up to 112 individuals. Formerly referred to as Heartland Blood Center, Versiti is a blood bank that prepares and distributes donations to hospitals, emergency situations, and areas in need.

“[It is important to donate blood because] there are always blood shortages, and there are lots of people in need of blood,” Versiti employee Anthony Davis said. “Not just people like you and me, but also premature babies, older people, and trauma patients. Without people donating, there are some who would not be alive.”

For more than 14 years, LT has successfully organized blood collections with strong turnout. However, within the past couple of years the amount of student participation in the drive has drastically shrunk, Student Activities Director Peter Geddeis said. 

“One of the things that LT has always done is encourage our students to be involved in the community and do philanthropic good, even though it may not directly benefit them,” Geddeis said.

Tye Abbott ‘23 was one of the students who took part in the blood drive. Motivated by his status as a universal blood donor, Abbott will definitely be taking part in future donations, he said.

“[Donating blood] is the right thing to do, you get to help people and it doesn’t take much time in your day,” Abbott said.

Preparation for the LT Blood Drive begins a year in advance, Geddeis said. No dates are locked in until the schoolwide master calendar is officially established, in an effort to ensure that the dates of the blood drive are during a time of the year where it will not be overshadowed by other major school events that take place. This way, student council as well as students thinking of volunteering have plenty of time to prepare.

“[On the day of the drive,] Versiti arrives [at LT] at 6 [a.m.] or 6:30 [a.m.] in the morning, and starts setting up the gym,” Geddeis said. “[Student council and the Building and Grounds Department] get there, set up, and check students in [while] Versiti [goes through] their whole process of education, screening, donation, and recovery.”

While there are some drawbacks to donating blood, such as not being able to exercise for 24 hours–often eliminating student athletes from volunteering–there are also countless benefits that go beyond altruistic initiative, Geddeis said.

“Donating blood is actually good for your body,” Geddeis said. “It filters your blood and cleans your blood because now your body has to produce a pint of blood to replace what you lost, and that is actually a good process for your body and contributes to overall health.”

Additionally, Versiti gives volunteers incentives that vary from drive to drive. These past volunteers have received a T-shirt, portable speaker, and neck gator for their contributions.

“[Seeing the volunteers] is why I still work here,” Davis said. “It is refreshing to see people come out to actually help other people for free and not get anything in return. Just to do it.”

LT will be hosting one more blood drive this school year, taking place on March 9, 2023.