HEMPSTEAD, NY (CBSNewYork) – Another consequence of the pandemic is schools blood drive is being canceled, and that has a big impact on the nation’s supply.
CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff spoke to the Hempstead students, who delivered a drive on Thursday with high hopes.
11th grader Khan Zidan was the first to donate blood on a mission.
“I want to help people like my mother and my friends who have had blood transfusions in the past,” Zidan said.
After a pause during the pandemic, Hempstead High School The gym was once again filled with students donating blood. Key Club offers classmate incentives like Big Mac and community service hours.
But the biggest perk?
“Has the ability to save lives. It makes you feel good afterwards,” says Key Club member Kayla Harris.
“We always tell them that even one donation can save up to three lives,” said 11th grader Salma Perez.
“It is saving people’s lives because 1 in 3 people need to donate once in their life,” said 11th grader Camila Rojas.
“For me, donating blood is very personal because a few years ago, my cousin, his life was saved by a blood donation,” added 12th grader Daniella Marroqion.
People 17 years and older can donate, but 16-year-olds need parental permission. But donations are so common at school, “I have 14 and 15 year olds asking for it,” says Key Club counselor Jennifer Salgado.
They will have to wait, but the important message is being delivered amid a chronic crisis deepened by school closures. Omicron variant, and recent blizzards. The New York Blood Center used to count schools for 500 drives per year, but less than 100 have returned.
“These young donors are not only important to our blood supply, but also to our future blood supply. If they have a great experience donating with their friends and classmates and get out of chemistry class, it’s a great experience that will hopefully be a lifetime of dedication,” Andrea Cefarelli , said executive director of the New York Blood Center.
Supply is down to just two to three days. Buffering is required for five to seven days. The New York Blood Center is calling for students to reach out to learn how to follow Hempstead’s lead.
“I needed blood during surgery because I didn’t have enough, so I can say it saved my life,” said 11th grader Sid Mohammed.
“It’s just character building and that’s one of the key elements in education, which is building good people,” said Hempstead High High Principal Kristin Kelly.
This is probably the simplest way to save a life, and you can make it a habit. On average, a donor can donate blood every three months.
Student can contact the New York Blood Center to set up a school blood transfusion organization or find places where groups of young people can go to donate blood.
Schools and universities donated 75,000 liters of blood a year to the New York Blood Center before the pandemic.