It’s not every day that the average person gets an opportunity to save lives. Blood transfusions are needed all around the country at this minute and, according to the Memorial Blood Center, 1 out of 3 people will need donated blood during their lifetime. So when Memorial Blood Center’s truck came to Providence Academy on Wednesday, November 11, 29 members of the PA community got to be somebody else’s hero.

Senior NHS members Julia Dailey ‘21 and Marie Leggott ‘21 snap a selfie with “ABO Joe” before recruiting blood donors at lunch.

Over the past few weeks, PA students and faculty members may have noticed posters and announcements reminding them of the annual blood drive, run by members of Providence Academy’s chapter of National Honor Society (NHS).

This year, Marie Leggott ’21, Julia Dailey ‘21, and Olivia Eck ‘22 were responsible for coordinating the blood drive with Memorial Blood Center, manning the table behind the check-in desk, and encouraging people to sign up. 

“People should donate blood because it saves lives,” Marie Leggott stated. “It’s just a very good thing for people to do for those in need.”

Blood donor Maria Counts ‘22 poses by her locker with her bandage shortly after donating blood.

Blood donations can save lives in countless ways.

School nurse Mrs. Maureen Murphy explained, ”People in hospitals for things like car accidents, surgeries, cancer, and obstetric patients need blood.” 

With COVID-19 cases still on the rise, this year’s blood drive looked a bit different from years’ past. Normally, the check-in desk is managed by members of NHS, as well as a person from Memorial Blood Center. Since this poses a higher risk for the transmission of COVID-19, different people from the blood center sat at the check-in desk alone, while NHS students sent text reminders to potential donors the night before the blood drive instead. The amount of slots for people to sign up to give blood was lowered from last year with only 34 slots instead of 50. In addition, donors had to get their temperatures taken before donating to ensure they were healthy.

Unfortunately, the preventive measures recommended at this time aren’t only limiting the spread of the disease, but also blood donations. With COVID-19 keeping people inside, there’s currently a shortage of blood.

“Donating blood is really important right now with such a shortage,” Murphy stressed. “The number of blood donations is critically low.”

However, thanks to the charity and generosity of PA blood donors, several individuals will soon be able to receive life-saving blood transfusions during a time when blood donations are running low.

“Now that I have the opportunity to give blood at school, and it’s easy, it would be a good thing to do,” Olivia Menzel ‘22, one of the students who signed up to donate, shared. “My hope is that my blood can help someone in need of it.”

Even with the COVID restrictions, this year’s blood drive was a big success. For those who are able, donating blood is such an easy way to make a huge impact. As Menzel reflected, “Why wouldn’t you want to save a life?”