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The Student News Site of Northern Valley Regional High School at Old Tappan

The Lance

The Student News Site of Northern Valley Regional High School at Old Tappan

The Lance

The Student News Site of Northern Valley Regional High School at Old Tappan

The Lance

Gold Hearts, Blue Blood

The blood drive makes a return to NVOT.
The+inside+of+the+Bloodmobile
Christine Kim
The inside of the “Bloodmobile”

Every 2 seconds, someone in the US needs blood. However, only 3% of eligible individuals donate. The number of donors has reached an all-time low in the last 20 years, according to the American Red Cross, resulting in the first ever national blood shortage being declared in September.

Student Council decided to step in. 

On Friday, January 26, the Student Council hosted a blood drive eligible to juniors and seniors in partnership with Vitalant, a nonprofit community blood service provider. The “Bloodmobile,” a vehicle equipped to collect blood from donors, was stationed at the senior parking lot throughout the school day. Students signed up for donation slots during their gym periods and were pulled out of their classes in their respective time to donate.

This marked the first time the blood drive made a return to NVOT after a hiatus during the pandemic. According to Vitalant representative Vittore Silvestri, the number of blood donors decreased substantially during COVID-19, so it was imperative to restore the bank to its original levels.

I donated blood to help people in need and to help save lives.

— Rowan Leddy

The timing and partnership with Vitalant made the return of the blood drive successful, according to Student Council advisor Lindsay Steffner. “The best time to do it is in the winter when people don’t think about getting out to donate blood,” Steffner said. “We’ve had more kids sign up this morning than ever before. Around 35 kids signed up this year, which is more than usual.” 

Students also said they were drawn to the cause because of their ability to help people in an accessible way. “I donated blood to help people in need and to help save lives. It was my first time so I was nervous because I didn’t know what to expect, but I was ok after and felt completely fine,” senior Rowan Leddy said.

Junior Cat Guerra agreed, stating she wanted to donate to “give back to the community, and it’s an easy and fast way to do so.” 

Steffner similarly sees the value of the blood drive in uniting the school community for an important cause. “Whenever you do something like this, you’re helping a bigger cause, and it is really important for kids and staff to realize that,” Steffner said. “This is a small gesture in the grand scheme of things, but you can definitely bring the community together, especially because there are people that need blood all the time all over the place.”

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