Strive to save lives

BVH holds Red Cross blood drive in the gym


Jaylen Gladney

On Oct. 19, 2022, the organization Red Cross held a blood drive in the gym at Bonita Vista High (BVH). Senior Isaac Romero can be seen donating blood to Red Cross.

Amanda Cortes, Staff Writer

On Wednesday Oct. 19, the Bonita Vista High (BVH) Key Club–a club dedicated to community service–held a blood drive in partnership with the Red Cross, a non-profit humanitarian organization. The event took place in the school gym from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. It gave students and staff an opportunity to donate blood to help combat the Red Cross’ severe blood shortage.

In previous years, the blood drive was held in the BVH parking lot inside the Red cross ‘bloodmobile’. However, this year’s Key Club was able to coordinate the event to take place inside the school gym. Organizing the event indoors proved to be a much more complex process than expected according to President of Key Club and senior Giselle Geering.

“It took a lot more work to coordinate the blood drive in the gym. There were a lot more moving parts, people and resources that we had mobilized, but in the end it worked out,” Geering said.

Bianca Marsh, a registered nurse of five years with the Red Cross, assisted in the blood drive. Marsh shares that she has participated in numerous Red Cross blood drives across San Diego and explains how valuable donations can be.

“There’s always people who need blood and there are many different situations for why people will need it,” Marsh said. “Some people have been in some kind of accident where they’ve been seriously injured so they need supplementation. There are also people who need blood donations in their everyday life. This blood drive alone will save lives.”

Blood donations are a vital medical resource, however, the Red Cross is currently experiencing a scarce amount of blood supply. Geering explains that the organization has faced a lack of blood donations as a lasting effect of the COVID-19 pandemic, making this blood drive even more critical.

There are also people who need blood donations in their everyday life. This blood drive alone will save lives.”

— Red Cross nurse Bianca Marsh

“During the pandemic, a lot of people were less willing to donate blood so Red Cross was in a severe blood shortage. In order to make up for the shortage, we definitely need more blood donations, and it’s really important that young people and highschoolers are donating so we can hopefully get donors for life,” Geering said.

While trying to aid in the crisis, Key Club faced a challenge with enlisting potential donors. According to Geering, many students were hesitant to participate in donating. In an effort to raise awareness, Key Club spent the week leading up to the event by advertising throughout the school with flyers and morning announcements to engage students.

“The biggest challenge we came across was recruiting donors. It’s really hard to go up to someone and say ‘hey do you want to stick a needle in your arm and get blood sucked out of you?’” Geering said. “We were able to accomplish it because of the work of our officers in Key Club spreading the word through morning announcements and BVTV.”

Contrary to what many reluctant students may think, Marsh comments that the process of donating blood is less uncomfortable than what many first-time donors anticipate. Marsh encourages inexperienced donors to consider participating in a blood drive at least once to get a full understanding of the process.

“Donating blood can be really scary, especially if you haven’t done it before. But I always encourage people to try it once. If you have a bad time then that’s fair,” Marsh said. “But nine times out of ten, if you try it, it’s way worse in your head than it ever ends up being.”

One student willing to participate and donate in the blood drive was junior Daniella Loya. Loya expresses positive results from the donation process and further explains that the drive’s significance to serving the community is what encouraged her to take part in the event.

“The process was super easy and went by very quickly […] My parents are major advocates of donating and doing what you can to support the community, so I figured I’d take this opportunity to give back,” Loya said.

The blood drive not only received numerous student donors but also staff participants. One notable donor includes BVH Interim Principal Lee Romero. Romero shares that the value the drive holds to the community encouraged him to participate as a way of motivating students to do the same.

“For as long as I can remember I’ve valued what it means to give back to the community […] I try to teach kids about character and doing the right thing. So it was important to me that I participate as a way of encouraging students by showing that I’m not afraid to give blood and do it regularly,” Romero said.

In addition to strongly encouraging BVH staff and students to donate like Loya and Romero, Marsh shares how important volunteers are to the Red Cross. Overall, Marsh urges people to get involved with the Red Cross in any way they can to supply the organization’s constant need of support from the community.

“We appreciate everyone who participates in these blood drives. Whether you donate or volunteer, there’s always a need in getting involved with these events that will save lives,” Marsh said.