Blood drive draws student support
For the second time this year, students at Eudora High School have joined the race for life.
The Eudora High School Student Council organized a blood drive Monday for the Community Blood Center. The center ran "Race for Life" at other area high schools and offered the chance of winning a new car for high school students who participated.
The student council didn't focus on the possibility of the car when promoting the drive, senior Max Alvarez said.
"We're saving lives one pint at a time. That's what it is about," Alvarez said.
The goal is to bring in more blood than their last drive in October, senior Katelin Harrell said.
Last year, the students collected 31 units, this year the group collected 27 units.
Harrell ran a table with other student council members during the drive to guide their classmates and community members through the blood donation process.
"We're here for hospitality and support," she said.
The drive marked the culmination of several weeks of effort.
Student council members ran fliers, advertised and actively sought people to sign up, Harrell said.
Before Monday's drive the group had 29 people pre-registered, student council sponsor Paul Walrod said.
In addition to promoting the event, student members had to follow up with people on appointments in the days leading up to the drive, Walrod said.
When explaining the drive, Harrell said she asked students to imagine a situation where they needed blood but encountered a shortage.
"I really say you can give because you can save lives," Harrell said.
For the most part, Harrell said she hadn't run into any challenges when recruiting people for the spring drive.
Despite finding general willingness, Harrell also discovered a challenge.
"Getting over the needle, the thought of a big needle," Harrell said.
Harrell said she noticed students and community members loyally coming to the various drives throughout her high school career.
"Smaller communities are usually pretty good about donating," senior Mary Cox said.
Three different students giving blood Monday shared the same motivation.
The drive marked junior Julie Slavin's first time in the chair.
"I did it because I always want to help other people. This is just one more way that I can," Slavin said.
Junior Nick Tillman said he gave blood Tuesday because he wanted to.
"It's not really as bad as some people would think," he said in between pages of a book he was reading.
While senior LaDuska Johnson reclined during her procedure, she said this was the last time she would be able to give blood in high school.
"I do it just because I know it's going out there to people who need it," Johnson said.
Community Blood Center recruitment coordinator Leann DeLong said she noticed a pattern in the high school blood drives she had attended.
"Usually the turnout is better," she said.