Blood Drive Drought Ends

Mira Chiodi, Staff Reporter

The bi-annual Grayslake Central High School blood drive is back after a two year suspension due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The blood drive took place on March 2, 2023. Due to restraints from COVID-19, the blood drive has not been able to collect the necessary donations for the past two years. “We’re just in a huge shortage [of blood] over the last few years, especially since so many drives got canceled,” said Activities Director Dianna Repp.

Blood drives are very important as they help many people, like people battling cancer, burn victims, and people who have received or are going to receive an organ transplant.
COVID-19 botched plans for many of these drives, and added materials and items to the list of official shortages, with blood being on that list. However, many GCHS students and faculty showed up to donate blood on March 2 whether they had done it before or not. “My family [donates blood], and I’ve done it before, so I just kind of wanted to do it again,” said one student “I know that I’m helping people, regardless of if [they’re] here or not.” Mrs. Repp noted, however, that, to be considered successful, the drive needs to draw blood from 45 participants, and it has been harder lately to reach that goal post COVID-19. “We used to not have a problem reaching that, [but] we did not reach that in the fall.”

Repp thinks that more students have been afraid of needles or afraid of blood in recent years, and that is why some might not be coming in. Another factor is the general health of the donor. The donor has to be a certain weight, height, and age, to be considered “healthy” enough to donate their blood. It is possible that COVID-19 caused a rise in unhealthy habits in teens, which may be the cause for not as many students being able to donate their blood. Overall, the blood drive is a very important event that ended up being a success, and Repp hopes that awareness spreads and more students show up to donate in the future.