Hundreds of students, teachers and administrators cycled through the United Blood Services’ multiple-bed setup Thursday and Friday as the Reed High Leadership class completed its most successful blood drive in school history. The Leadership class was aiming for 120 units of blood while United Blood Services hoped to collect 131 units of blood in the two days.
After bringing in 82 units on Thursday alone and an additional 40 units of blood by 10:15 a.m. on Friday, the class was well on its way to an accomplished blood drive with a few hours left to go.
“It has been a tradition for a long time and we always have two annual blood drives in the fall and the spring,” event organizer Kristen Neufeld said. “So this is an event that we have always done, but we are really big about community service here and this is something that we really enjoy doing.”
Members of the Leadership class taking the helm on the spring blood drive project included Neufeld, Selena Campana, Austin Graham and Max Poore, who arranged and coordinated the event throughout the day. Neufeld said bringing in such an abundant amount of people was largely attributed to the group’s advertising and awareness measures.
“We went to our Raider News Network. We made a bunch of posters. We went into enrichment classes and everyone in the Leadership class talked about the main information. We told our friends and we tried to make people donate. Our advertising really got the word out.”
Neufeld said a steady line of people persisted Friday morning and it never showed signs of letting up until the blood drive’s close at 2:30 p.m. One of the people who waited his turn in line was senior Logan Vine, who said donating blood was a simple way for him to help others.
“Giving blood is really easy,” Vine said. “You have to deal with a needle but it really doesn’t hurt bad at all and one of the main things to know is that you can save up to three lives with one donation. And since it is so easy to make a donation, why not do what you can to help out those in need.”
Vine helped coordinate the fall blood drive and he said the most impressive statistic was the number of appointments made before Thursday, which Neufeld said totaled 113. Vine said people are always willing to donate by walking in or signing up the day of, but having more than 100 appointments was a big accomplishment.
“It’s really great to see all the people and when there is really no down time for people coming in, you know that you are getting the maximum out of the time you have to get donations in,” Vine said. “I think the number of slips and passes they had to pass out for everyone is the most I have ever seen, just with people signing up ahead of time.
“I think it is really great to see and we do it twice a year every year. I don’t know a lot of other schools who do that. United Blood Services really does a lot to make that happen and they make it really successful no matter what because they do such a good job.”
Reed sophomore Austin Giles was anxiously waiting in line to give blood Friday and after stating it was his first ever donation he said he could not wait to be a part of the cause. He said the experience of giving blood is one he always planned to go through and he hopes to save lives in the process.
“It’s crazy how many people are coming out for Reed,” Giles said. “I have seen Spanish Springs kids do theirs and not even this many people come out for theirs. It’s awesome to be a part of it. I am probably going to donate now for the next three years of high school. I haven’t even donated yet but I know I want to do it.”
Megan Herbst, a sophomore in the Leadership class, was in good spirits throughout the morning despite her inability to give blood. Herbst does not meet the age or weight requirements to donate, but she said being able to be a part of the planning process still gives her pride.
“I am just proud of everybody to be able to go in and donate even though I can’t,” Herbst said. “We reached our goal and I am proud of that and proud of all the people contributing. There is a lot of preparation that goes into it and being able to be here and help out behind the scenes is a really good thing for me because I am that type of person who wants to help out when I am older. I am just happy to be a part of it.”
Though the final count on the units of blood Reed High produced was unofficial on Friday, Neufeld said she would feel very accomplished if she were able to be a part of coordinating such a successful event. She continually donates blood outside of school and said being able to organize this event gives her “more hope in humanity” for the future.
“I have donated blood about four or five times now and it is really a big part of my life,” Neufeld said. “I just really love to help people and that is my main reason for being in leadership. It is so nice to know that you’re saving three lives and it is something I love to do. It is nice to know that I am making an impact.
“I would feel so accomplished (if the blood drive was the most successful in school history) because it has been super stressful. We have four high schoolers coordinating it -- two sophomores, a junior and a senior -- and I have never planned a blood drive before. So to think that I have never planned one before but donating blood is such a huge part of my life that to think that I could have the most successful blood drive at this school, so far makes me feel so good and gives me more hope in humanity.”