For Bethany Baumgartner it’s simple; giving blood means giving back. Students at Newton High School rolled up their sleeves on Wednesday to contribute to the student council’s annual blood drive, and organizers said this year’s contributions are the highest they’ve ever been. Baumgartner, a senior at NHS and member of the student was the project manager for this year’s blood drive, and she said she’s excited to see how much support the project has received from her classmates.
“It’s really nice to have so many eager to participate that want to donate and make a difference,” Baumgartner said.
The blood drive, a collaboration between the high school and Life Serve Blood Center, based in Des Moines is an ongoing partnership, although Katherine Armstrong, a team lead for Life Serve said this year’s turnout at the high school represents one of the biggest crowds the organization has seen all year. More than 150 students signed up to donate blood throughout the day and student volunteers and Life Serve employees worked throughout the day to fit students in for appointments.
“At a high school we tend to see a lot more than the average, which is 30 to 40, but this is a lot more, it’s a great turnout,” Armstrong said. “This is the second or third biggest blood drive we’ve had this year.”
After giving blood students had an opportunity to sample the snacks Life Serve brought, and for senior Kinzie Lorre, that might be the best part about giving blood. Lorre said she’s given blood every year she’s been eligible, for her, it’s a chance to give back without consequence.
“The best part is the feeling you get after helping someone, the snacks aren’t bad either,” Lorre said.
Baumgartner said isn’t sure why this turnout is higher than past years, but she’s glad to be a part of the event. In the week leading up the blood drive she went around to classes throughout the high school, asking students to consider donating blood. To be eligible to donate students needed to be at least 16 years of age, with a signed parental permission slip, and have a minimum weight of 120 pounds. On the day of the blood drive, they needed to bring in their signed permission slips along with a copy of the social security number. As the holiday season approaches Baumgartner said it’s nice to see many of her fellow students taking time out of their day to give back, even those who might be afraid of needles.
“I always say it’s just a little pinch, and five to seven minutes, and with that you can save the life of three other people,” Baumgartner said. “It’s worth it for that little pinch.”
Senior Michelle White, a first-time donor said she’s always wanted to donate during the annual blood drive but the timing wasn’t right. Now that she’s a senior White said she’s glad she was able to participate in the event, and even admitted it wasn’t as painful as she thought it might be.
“It’s pretty cool, it doesn’t hurt as much as I thought it would,” White said.
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