The Red Cross Runs Dry

West NHS blood drive comes at a crucial time

By Hannah Johnson and Ben Johnson, Current Staff

While the snow piled up this winter, the demand for blood donations was also on the rise.

Since January 1, severe weather caused roughly 1,500 blood drives to be cancelled throughout the United States. These cancellations meant that over 50,000 blood donations were unable to be collected.

This is why West National Honor Society looked to assist the Red Cross for its third quarter project, by sponsoring a blood drive March 19 at the high school campus.  The drive brought in 86 units of blood. These donations have the potential to save 258 lives. This is the most successful West NHS blood drive since 2007.

“They did tell us how important this drive is. This is a nationwide organization. We can help other places that were hit harder than we were,” said NHS adviser Jacqueline Schmoldt.

Schmoldt praised the efforts of Max Sallinen, West senior and NHS officer.

“This quarter project was assigned to him and he has done a phenomenal job,” said Schmoldt.

“I took care of fundraising, signing up volunteers for a variety of volunteer responsibilities, and marketing the blood drive,” said Sallinen about his work for the blood drive.

As it turns out, Sallinen did an excellent job of marketing the drive in a unique way.

“I decided that a great marketing idea would be pledging to the NHS members that as soon as we fill 90 slots, I would wear the Red Cross Blood Drop costume. Needless to say, after I informed them of my pledge, the amount of slots filled by 15 within 24 hours,” Sallinen explained.

In accordance with his promise, Sallinen sported the blood drop costume on both Monday and Tuesday, March 17-18.

NHS has been doing this blood drive for about five years, starting after the Red Cross contacted Schmoldt, asking if West NHS would be willing to run a blood drive. The Red Cross also offered the members of the West NHS scholarships for doing the blood drive along with a bonus if they filled all of the spots.

“They contacted me and enticed us to do it with scholarships for the kids. It is also so well run,” said Schmoldt.

This year $750 was donated by the Red Cross for the seniors of NHS.

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