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Deerfield Blood Drive: The Community Gives Back

Deerfield’s blood drive has struggled to get students to give blood in the past, said faculty organizer Francoise Ellis. Though some people are not eligible to donate, only 6 percent of the school shows up to a typical blood drive hosted by Deerfield and the Red Cross.

Ms. Ellis has her hopes up, saying low numbers did not determine the drive’s success.

“No matter the outcome in term of numbers, it will always be a success as long as we have members of the community donating and others giving their support by volunteering to help out with the drive,” she said.
But many people said they choose not donate blood because they fear the process.

“I’m scared of having blood drawn from me because I’ve heard that it can make you tired for the next two to three weeks, which might affect my sport performance,” Morgan Macey ’14 said.

Ms. Ellis said, “The first time is always nerve-racking. I fainted the first time.”

Others said they were excited to give blood for the first time. The Red Cross requires donors to be 16 years or older.

“I am just so grateful to be healthy so I like to donate. And to be honest, donating did not hurt and I did not feel woozy after,” Elana Van Arnam ’13 said.

“It is a nice way to give back,” Kylie Davis ’14 added.

Many donors ask where the blood gets distributed. Red Cross donor representative Alison Baldree said the blood goes to one of 53 hospitals in Massachusetts that accepts Red Cross blood.

There is a great need for blood in our state,” she said. “600 to 750 units of blood are used in Massachusetts everyday.”

Ms. Baldree also said that within Massachusetts 37 percent of the population is eligible to donate, but only five percent do.

“In order to be eligible to give blood, a donor must be of a certain weight and height, have a healthy iron level and have a healthy haemoglobin count. These factors will be tested before a donor gives blood so all the donor has to worry about before is “drinking lots of fluids, feeling healthy and eating iron-rich foods the day of and prior to the donation,” Ms. Baldree said.

The first blood drive of this year is scheduled for October 11, from 3 to 7:30 p.m. in the West Gym.

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