by Elsa Stoff
One hundred three people donated blood at Rumson Fair Haven Regional High School during the Health Club’s annual Blood Drive on February 1. Students, teachers, faculty members, and many members of the RFH community participated, aiding in the event’s success.
When asked about the event’s success, Mrs. Nill, the health’s club advisor, said, “I am happy that our students were so enthusiastic about helping others and donating.”
RFH’s blood drive was especially important because there is typically a shortage during the winter months. Typically, there are very few blood drives during the winter, , rendering many blood banks almost empty. The blood donated within the RFH community goes to the Central Jersey Blood Bank, and the organization was extremely grateful for RFH’s donation. In fact, coordinators were happy to come to the school despite potentially hazardous weather conditions. When Mrs. Nill offered to cancel the blood drive because of the predicted snow, the Blood Bank requested to proceed because of its blood shortage.
Participant Jen Maloney, sophomore, said, “I knew that by donating I’d be able to save three lives. Anytime I can save someone’s life, it seems like a worthwhile opportunity to me.”
The RFH blood drive has undergone many positive changes throughout the years. The blood drive has grown steadily; last year, ninety-seven people gave blood, compared to the one-hundred three people this year. Also, this was the first year that sixteen-year-olds were allowed to participate. The additional age group helped increase the numbers, and many sophomores participated for the first time this year.
Another benefit of the blood drive is the scholarship involved in the process. At the end of the school year, a scholarship is given to a senior who demonstrated dedication to the blood drive throughout his or her high school career. A one hundred dollar scholarship is given to the school just for hosting the event, and additional money is added with every unit of blood donated. So, anyone who did not participate in the actual blood drive located at RFH can help with this cause by going to the Central Jersey Blood Bank and giving blood in the school’s name.
Mrs. Nill explained that one of her main goals for the blood drive is to educate RFH students about the importance of donating blood as a means of giving back to your community. In her mind, the blood drive transcends the immediate cause; the current need for blood. Students gain knowledge by participating, and they learn that giving blood in high school helps to create donors for life.
Mrs. Nill commented, “I feel it is important for the drive to be held at school so that students can experience the process in familiar surroundings and then maybe venture out to blood banks in the future to continue to donate on a regular basis.”
There will always be lives to be saved, and RFH’s blood drive has helped create a generation that will sustain the ill and injured in the community.