The last week of January is National Catholic Schools Week – a week devoted to the celebration of Catholic education across the nation. Students at McNicholas celebrated with out of uniform days, ice cream and cupcakes at lunch, lunch games including the opportunity to “pie” a teacher, participation in the videoconference with the archbishop, and mass both as a community and at the cathedral. On Friday of CSW, it is tradition for McNicholas to hold a “Day of Giving,” which includes a blood drive and penny drive.
Students can donate blood starting at 16 years old, with parental consent. Each student that donates a pint of blood to the Hoxworth Blood Center at the University of Cincinnati can save up to three lives. The donor care assistants fill up a test pouch to test for antibodies, platelets, and various STD’s. Hoxworth Blood Center then sends the red blood cells, platelets, and plasma to 30 hospitals in the Tri-State area.
“We take it [the pint of blood] to a lab where it gets spun down to red blood cells, platelets, and plasma,” Donor care assistant Brittany Oestreicher said.
Donating blood for the second time, senior Chloe Maushart said, “It’s an important thing to do, and I know that some people can’t donate blood, so it’s important to donate for the people who need it. It helps if you are distracted, it [getting your blood drawn] feels a little more like a pinch then a shot, but it’s not bad.”
“I think donating blood can be really helpful to people who are in a dire situation and really need blood. I would donate again because it can help people in the future, and if I’m healthy then why not,” junior Hadley Jerome said.
I felt perfectly fine, it just felt like a prick,” first time donor senior Andrew Bellamah said.
Junior Grace Carville said, “I figured it won’t hurt me, and I get to save lives. I would regret not doing it [donating blood]. I would donate blood again to help save more people.”
Occurring on the same day as the blood drive, students brought in coins and bills for teachers to count as part of the annual Penny Drive. The money collected is donated to support local and global Catholic education. This year, students help raise over $2500. Since Theology teacher Sam Roflow began Penny Day over 20 years ago, students have raised more than $110,000.