As part of Catholic Schools Week, students were asked to share their time, talent, and treasure. Many decided to participate by bringing in or counting coins for the annual Penny Drive, but some courageous students decided to donate both their time, treasure, and comfort to the Hoxworth Blood Center.
There was no shortage of bravery from McNicholas students, as 77 pints of blood were collected. As many know, donating blood requires recovery time as the body produces more blood platelets, and most donors take at least a day to recuperate. Junior Will Allgeier, sophomore Hannah Brune, and junior Meghan Martella shared their thoughts with The Milestone as they went through the day of the blood drive.
When it came time to sign up for the blood drive, Allgeier had no hesitations. “This was my second time giving blood,” he said. “There have been so many people in my family that have been ill, so I know it’s important to give to such a great cause.”
Brune also saw this event as an opportunity she wanted to take advantage of. “My mom gives blood a lot and I thought it would be nice to follow in her footsteps and give back,” Brune said.
After students either signed up on one of the Hoxworth posters posted in each classroom or on a list in the main office, they received an appointment card with a time to report to the gym. At his or her appointment time, each student was given the opportunity to donate ‘double reds’ or to do a regular donation. Donating ‘double reds’ means that two units of blood are collected, but the plasma and platelets are separated from the rest of the blood by a machine and are injected back into the donor.
“I was a little afraid of giving double reds, but the people from Hoxworth were so nice and I plan on doing this many more times in the future,” Allgeier said.
At this point in the donation process, Martella was starting to get nervous. “When I was sitting in the chair, I got scared because I had a bad experience last year and I was worried it would happen again,” she said. Despite not feeling well after donating last year, knowing she had the ability to make a difference brought Martella back to the blood drive.
When the Hoxworth employee was ready to start the donation process, nerves really set in for the donors. Unfortunately for Brune, she received some startling news about her donation. “They pricked my finger and told me I’m low on iron and can’t give blood,” Brune said. “I was surprised and sad that I couldn’t donate this year.” Despite the news, Brune was glad that she at least tried to donate.
Once the donations were complete, the students were offered cookies and juice to replenish their systems before going back to class. They claimed to feel the effects of donating immediately and were glad to go home to rest once the school day was over.
“Later that day, I went home and slept for four hours because I had a headache because I had given so much blood,” Martella said. “I had a stomachache too, but I wasn’t hungry.”
Allgeier had a similar experience. “When I got home, I felt really tired and fatigued, so the rest of the day served as a big respite,” he said. At the end of the day though, the donors had no regrets and were thankful for the opportunity to share their time and treasure with the community.