DOWNEY - Donate, donate, donate! Downey High School's ASB is furiously making preparations and rallying up young blood donors for the upcoming Warped Tour Blood Drive, which will be occurring on June 2 in the gym on campus.Working to gather potential blood donors, ASB visits classrooms daily, asking anyone to sign up as well as keeping a table in the quad during lunch where more can volunteer. Posters and announcements also spread the word and those who are interested can either reach anyone on ASB or simply watch out for advertisements offering information. Though the past weeks of Advanced Placement testing, as well as other testing, have slowed the preparations for the blood drive, ASB Commissioner of Human Relations Jacob Michael is in full blast rallying and organizing to meet his goals. "Our goal this year is to break 600 units," said Michael. "Last year we were the number one school for the spring blood drive with 560 units, which is really good and this year we want to break 600 but in order to do that, we have to get 750 sign-ups. This semester has been more difficult than the last one because during the fall, nothing was happening. But now that AP tests are over, things are picking up and we're back to normal." From early in the morning to late in the afternoon, ASB and the Red Cross will work side-by-side to set up and keep things running smoothly. With the haunting memory of past bad experiences of students who have given blood, however, extra precautions are taken to ensure the safety of all. "All nurses are certified," said Michael. "They know what they're doing and we have a canteen where there's food so after a person donates, they go over there and we require them to stay for 20 minutes to cool down. We have cots in case someone passes out and what we're required to do as ASB is ring a bell when someone faints and a nurse comes over to take care of that person. They've put in the new weight requirements and last time was the fewest amount of accidents because of that." So why should a student essentially endure the process of donating blood? ASB and the Red Cross provide many incentives, including the reward of a free t-shirt and a backstage pass to Warp Tour for those who do endure. "Each donation can save up to three lives," said Michael. "Not only do you get out of class, you get food and you save three lives. I've known people who have been in the hospital and they've needed blood so it's cool to donate since you're helping people out." These incentives, along with other possible and more personal ones, are what gathers and motivates young students to donate blood.
********** Published: May 21, 2010 - Volume 9 - Issue 5