If you’ve visited the PA Upper School recently, you’ve probably noticed posters on the walls with large bold letters that read, “More than just cookies, save lives!”. What do cookies have to with saving lives, you might wonder. The answer is an annual event that has been held at the school since 2003: The Blood Drive.
The Blood Drive is a volunteer event operated by Memorial Blood Centers, a nonprofit that helps collect blood and distribute it to those who need it. The Blood Drive is run by the Providence chapter of NHS, and students can choose to be as involved as they want. NHS members staff the Blood Drive table throughout the day, and two members of the group actually make the event possible here at PA.
Catherine Cline ‘18 and Gabby Munger ’19 are the 2017-18 student coordinators for the PA Blood Drive. They have a deep love for helping others and are willing to put in hours of work to make the event successful.
Both agree that the PA Blood Drive is an important volunteer opportunity for PA Upper School students. Catherine Cline said, “(The Blood Drive) gives students the ability to help out, and shows them how easy and powerful volunteering is.”
Although the Blood Drive is a popular event on campus, there are many people who feel intimidated by the prospect of donating blood. Jack Kruse ‘19 gave blood, and said that the process felt very professional and safe. He has a unique perspective on giving blood, saying that although it can be scary to give blood, it must be even scarier for the people who are in danger of losing their lives and are in need of blood.
However, if needles aren’t really your thing, there are other ways to get involved. “If students are unable or unwilling to give blood, they can always talk to Cat and I about helping to make posters, helping out at the canteen with people who have just donated, or walking around in the ABO Joe costume–the mascot for Memorial Blood Center’s high school blood drives,” Gabby said.
So, whether you’re donating blood or wearing a costume, there’s a lot to glean from PA’s Blood Drive. “The biggest thing I hope students learn is that they have an incredible ability to volunteer to help their community and others. The Drive calls unlikely volunteers to step up to the plate and realize their abilities. I know the Blood Drive has shown me how much I can do to build my community up,” Catherine said.
Providence will be hosting another Blood Drive in the spring, so please consider donating your time or your blood for this worthy cause. You even get to enjoy cookies after you donate blood, solid motivation to overcome any hesitation you might have about donating. However, it’s more than just cookies.
“The Blood Drive shows how important compassion is and how much of a difference we can all make in the lives of those around us through something that takes less than an hour,” Gabby said.