NHS blood drive exceeds goal
Sometimes a small act can make a big difference, and setting aside time to donate blood is certainly one of those situations.
The Buffalo High School National Honor Society organized the school’s second blood drive of the year – one that welcomed both students and community members – on Friday, March 17. When all was said and done, 121 total donors donated 107 units of blood, which according to the Red Cross has the potential to save up to 299 lives. The day’s goal was to collect 90 units, so the overall effort was a resounding success.
“This is such a cool thing we get to do. It’s free and you can save lives doing it,” said event senior chairperson Danielle Rodenwald. “Ms. [Christina] Cox and Ms. [Natasha] Leach help us, but it’s pretty much student-run. I know I speak for myself, and probably the rest of my team, when I say that we love being a part of it.”
While Red Cross personnel manage the actual donating procedure, Rodenwald and a committee of NHS students did most of the organizing and recruiting for the event. Rodenwald was joined on the leadership team by senior chair Brady Anderson, and junior chairs Kate Hendel and Zoe Donofrio.
“Dani presented the option to me. It was something I’d never done before,” said Donofrio. “It sounded really interesting and it’s a good cause, so I thought, why not go for it? It’s kind of eye-opening to realize how good of an experience it is to partake in.”
Hendel said the logistical side of the event appealed to her.
“I really like organizing things. I saw this opportunity to organize something that was for a good cause, and I’ve really enjoyed the process of putting everything together,” she said.
On the day of the drive, committee members and a rotating cast of volunteers from the NHS chapter handled greeting and check-in roles, along with providing snacks. Prior to the date, committee members took on promotion efforts, including making a video to share on Instagram.
“We really work on recruiting donors, so we get information out there about what the requirements are and how you sign up,” said Hendel. “We went around to classes and talked to students about it too.”
“We have to educate ourselves about it so we feel comfortable giving answers to people when they come to us with questions,” Donofrio added.
The NHS group holds two blood drives each school year, with the first one taking place on Dec. 17, 2022. That earlier drive had a goal of 70 units, but the organizers set their sights higher for the second round.
“It helped to get the word out more, because we can tell that our classmates are interested. They’re very open to it,” said Donofrio. “We’ve been taking it step by step to see what more we can do to advertise and bring more people in.”
With this year’s second drive complete, and four total drives behind her, Rodenwald is now passing the torch on to the juniors to organize events for next year. But the experiences of the past few years are some that she won’t soon forget.
“You just feel so good about being a part of it, knowing that what you’re doing is helping others,” she said.