Jen Brown

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Organizing & Encouraging Blood Donors

Posted: Wednesday, November 25, 2015

At Cadillac High School, twice per year, Student Council with the support of  the Red Cross host a local Blood Drive. B

lood drives are typically held in November and March in the performance gym.  There is an effort to time the blood drives for the transition times between athletic seasons so student athletes can participate.  Although we have not been able to determine the actual beginning of the Blood Drives at CHS, it is known that this has been a tradition for well over 25 years.

CHS generally has 50-60 donors, which is the maximum that can be scheduled given the capacity of the Red Cross staff and equipment.  The Red Cross sets a goal, typically 35-40 units of blood per blood drive. Many of our students are first time donors, so it is critical that we make their experience a positive one to encourage their participation in future blood drives.

Success of the blood drive relies heavily on Student Council members' leadership, since the blood drive occurs during the school day while the advisers are teaching. Students also run the sign-up table during lunch hours for two weeks preceding the blood drive, deliver appointment reminders to donors the day before the event, and promote participation using posters, the showcase, and announcements.

Student Council's effort is the key to the event success.  This year, Sarah Catlin, Student Council president did a great job keeping things running smoothly, anticipating problems, and communicating with advisers and Red Cross staff. Maria Franscisco (Student Council treasurer), a junior, works closely with Sarah to learn how to host the event next year. Other students volunteer to work the registration table, set up (starting at 6 a.m.!), clean up, work the canteen table, assist donors during recovery, and work as runners to fetch donors from their classes at the appropriate time. The workers have to be flexible and organized to make adjustments to appointment times and minimize the amount of time students are out of class.