National Honor Society Returns Blood Drive to Neenah

Seniors+and+student+organizers+Lauren+Sturgell+and+Malina+Schultz+in+front+of+the+blood+drive.

Photo by: Olly Dungan

Seniors and student organizers Lauren Sturgell and Malina Schultz in front of the blood drive.

Olly Dungan and Ava Dungan

The annual Community Blood Center blood drive welcomed donations from students and faculty in the Apollo Commons on Nov. 4.

“From 8 a.m to 3 p.m.  . . . we had slots every 10 minutes that people could sign up to donate,” student organizer Lauren Sturgell said.

In liaison with the Community Blood Center, National Honor Society organized a blood drive for the high school student and staff donors. A virtual check-in station, donation rooms and a buffet of concessions occupied the commons.

 Donors registered virtually for their appointments, and the donations were collected through the duration of the school day. The blood drive targeted advisory as an innovative way for students to donate without disruption to classes. 

Planning and executing the drive were National Honor Society members and seniors Lauren Sturgell and Malina Schultz. As student organizers, Sturgell and Schultz held the responsibility for promoting the event, as well as managing the National Honor Society student volunteers who assisted with the operation. 

Students set up stations at the drive to help donors navigate the process of registration and donation. Student volunteers also provided concessions such as pizza and cookies to ensure that donors received proper nutrition after giving blood. 

“The food after was awesome. The whole process made me feel very safe and taken care of,” senior and student donor Emma Bowman said.

In 2019, the annual blood drive amassed 130 donors from Neenah’s population of students and faculty. Last year, because of COVID-19 restrictions, the blood drive was cancelled. 2020 hit hard for everyone, but the pandemic impacted the medical community most of all. The Red Cross confirmed that the amount of donations had dropped by 10 percent, its lowest point since 2015. With no way of receiving blood, the community needs help now more than ever from those that are able to donate.

A new year of opportunity lies ahead and Sturgell has a simple goal: “We are just trying to encourage as many people as possible to donate.” 

As of Wednesday, Nov. 3, over 70 donors registered with the Community Blood Center to give blood. The Satellite tweeted a promotion of the event on Nov 4., yielding over 300 retweets and 400 views. Though the tally of donors has dropped from the 2019 drive, the event continues to gain attention and Sturgell remains optimistic. 

“This is a great year to rebound,” she said.

Each donation of blood can save three lives, and over 38,000  according to Cedars Sinai blood donation page. The Community Blood Center notes that every year 4.5 million Americans will need a blood transfusion.  According to the Red Cross, every 2 seconds in the United States, a patient is in need of blood. The Red Cross also verified that less than 38 percent of people are eligible to donate blood and only 10 percent participate in events like this. 

It is vital for anyone who is able to donate to participate in these blood drives. Sturgell attests to this as a frequent donor to the Community Blood Center. 

Her advice: “You can save lives. It doesn’t take that long, it doesn’t hurt that much. The amount of benefit that the community gets is worth it.”