Annual school blood drive another success


Lindsey Fortner

Student in BloodCare blood drop character suit entertains students waiting their turn to give blood.

Katie Gallaway, News Editor

    A total of 508 donors, consisting mainly of students and staff, participated at the school’s 42nd annual blood drive on Friday April 26.

    “That day is the biggest single-day donation in the nation and we’ve been doing it for 42 years,” sponsor Steve Leonard said.

    Each year, the school hosts a blood drive arranged by STUCO and Carter Blood Care, a Texas nonprofit organization. According to their website, the group’s purpose is to “provide life-saving resources to local hospitals in regional communities”. Clinical students from the school also volunteer during the drive.

    “Clinicals is a big supporter of blood drive,” Leonard said, “They help with many jobs: sitting with nervous donors, providing food and drink at the post-donation canteen, and accompanying students who get light headed.”

    Besides the students and staff, people from outside of the school were allowed to come and donate during the drive as well.

    However, there were a few restrictions for students who choose to donate. They had to be 16 or older, and anyone who was 16 had to have a parent or guardian present when they donated.

    “Everyone who could was highly encouraged to participate,” senior and STUCO member Mark Mueller said.

    STUCO worked diligently during the drive, helping with checking people in and making sure things were running smoothly.

    “I felt that the student organization of the blood drive, led by junior Gina Furman and senior Mark Mueller was some of the best I’ve seen,” Leonard said. “The flow of donors was even and consistent and no one, unless they were giving double reds, missed more than two class periods.”

    Teacher and PSHS alumni Matt Cone participates in the blood drive every year as long as he isn’t sick.

    “The drive started even before I was a student,” Cone said. “The first time I had my blood drawn was at the school’s blood drive.”

    In addition, there were some people who participated that had a special reason why they chose to donate their blood.

    “My mom was a nurse,” Cone said. “She always underscored the importance of giving blood because you never know who will need it.”

    Some people were nervous about participating or weren’t used to getting blood drawn, resulting in several students fainting during the drive.

    “My advice is don’t skip breakfast and make sure to drink plenty of fluids,” Cone said. “Just be patient and don’t be scared.”

    Plano East usually hosts a blood drive each year as well, creating some friendly competition between the schools..

    “As far as I know, we have always donated more blood than East,” Cone said, “However they’ve been catching up.”

    By the end of this year’s drive, all of the people who participated had donated enough blood to save 1757 lives.

    “The students who donated, or attempted to donate, continue to impress us,” Leonard said. “They give up their free time to donate, face their fears, and truly show the Plano spirit in their selfless acts.”