B Positive: Donate Blood!

Why should you let a complete stranger stick a needle in your arm and draw one pint of your blood? Is it because afterwards you will be rewarded with sugary treats? Is it an excuse for missing class? Or is it for the benefit of others? Regardless of the motive, students and teachers continually strive to be one of the many people who get to participate in the biannual blood drive, hosted at Providence Academy every fall and spring. Held this year on November 17, the Blood Drive was a smashing success due its popularity amongst the students and faculty. 

Seniors Olivia Eck 22’ and Adriana Azarian 22’ are nothing but smiles after completing a six hour day of pure community service. Seeing their classmates and teachers so willing to donate blood added to their excitement.

The National Honors Society not only organized the whole event, but they provided the delicious snacks, thirst quenching beverages, handmade thank you cards, donors, and informative posters! One of the main coordinators, who personally put in 14 hours of service, was Olivia Eck 22’. She eagerly took on this role because she knew she had the skills needed to accomplish the task. Eck remarked, “Running the whole drive is all organization and being friendly, which is what I love to do!” Despite it being stressful and time consuming, she figured out every detail with a smile on her face. 

With that smile and can-do attitude, she was able to sign up 47 volunteers, 27 of which were able to donate one pint or more of blood. 

Dr. Biebighauser, an Upper School English and Latin teacher at Providence, noted that the extra time and dedication put into this event is something to be commended for. “I’m really proud and grateful for the time students spent to put this together and for those who donated.”

Gage Pietrini 22’ was a volunteer who, despite being nervous over the idea of losing blood, commented, “It’s a small prick, which you can barely feel. Why not do it? It helps save lives!” 

Gage Petrini 22’ is relieved after a successful donation and ecstatic to enjoy the delicious treats and receive a handmade thank you card, provided by his fellow students. 

Maria Counts 22’, one of the five double donors who gave two pints of blood, says she went through this slightly nerve-racking process because, “Someday that could be me or my family members who need a blood transfusion.”

Biebighauser added, “This is the most time-effective way to do charity work.” He highlighted that donors being able to scroll through their phones, take a breather from the draining day, and sip a coffee are just a few of the many perks of giving blood. 

Looking at the bigger picture, 40% of the nation’s blood and blood cell components come from donors. Blood donations are used for patients in need of surgery, cancer treatments, and transfusions for blood loss from traumatic injuries. How amazing is it that the human race invented a way to transfer blood from one healthy person to another who is in dire need? This concept is one that fascinates Biebighauser and many others. He remarked, “It’s an impressive operation how mankind has worked together to figure out how to restore blood and minimize harm to those donating.”

Not only is this event “worth the snacks” as Pietrini says, but it is one of the easiest ways to give back to the community. Eck certifies that it is “100% worth it!” All donors need to do is sit back, relax for a short period of time, then enjoy a doughnut and juice box.

Tables and Treats: Trunk or Treat With a Spin

“It was awesome!” These were the words of third grader Charlie Semsch when asked what he thought of this year’s Trunk or Treat. Many shared Semsch’s sentiments, despite last Thursday’s event looking slightly different from the previous year. 

Second graders Elory Otto (left) and Betty Stephens (right), are all smiles as they collect candy from the Upper Schoolers.

Last year, National Honor Society (NHS) members decorated themed trunks and handed out treats to lower school students, arguably having just as much fun as young lions. This year, seniors outside of NHS were also given the opportunity to participate.

Ms. Betsy Gregg, third grade teacher, shared “we like when we have any event between the two schools; it’s a good way to get the littles to feel like they are a part of the school as a whole.” 

When asked if her students were excited, Ms. Gregg immediately replied “Oh yes! It was a topic every single day this week!”

On the day of the planned festivities, the excitement leading up to the event was palpable, but a wave of fear came over the Lower and Upper School students when rain started on Thursday morning. 

However, with the help of PA’s beloved head custodian Mr. John Wagner (Scooby), NHS came up with a plan: in lieu of car trunks in the north parking lot, they set tables up inside, still allowing for the fun to commence. When the time came to set up, the Upper Schoolers excitedly began to decorate. Rylie Schonfelder ‘23, participated in Trunk or Treat for the first time this year, commented , “It was so fun to build our stand and see everyone else’s ideas come together.” 

Schoenfelder in action as the gumball machine, dispensing candy to Lower School students last Thursday.

Semsch and his classmate Humphrey Ombaso eagerly shared their favorite tables as “the gumball machine” and “the one with the guys dressed as leaves.” 

Schoenfelder was actually a part of the group that brought the “gum ball machine” to life. She was under the table, hidden by balloons, sticking her hand through the opening to hand the kids their candy.

Schoenfelder remarked, “My favorite part of the trunk or treat was handing out candy from the flap at the bottom of the ‘gum ball machine’ which made it so  the kids could only see my hand and it was fun to hear their reactions!”

Despite having to move the festivities inside, Trunk or Treat was a smashing success! The Upper Schoolers’ enthusiasm and dedication to the event brought joy to the little kids. 

Gregg noted, “It was cool to see how into it the High Schoolers were getting. Their genuine excitement made it even more fun for our students.” 

In the end, it was a joy for all who participated: teachers and kids of all ages. “Handing out candy, seeing all the lower schoolers in their costumes, and the hallway’s atmosphere transformed by all our themes was so fun. It was truly a great experience,” concluded Schoenfelder.