By J1 Reporter Maddie Mitchell
Volunteer hours are not required at Marian, but most Marian girls still venture out into the community to donate their time, money and talents. Marian also provides girls with plenty of ways to get involved. Many Marian girls hold a volunteer position through Campus Ministry, clubs and sports teams. Marian girls love to make a difference, and that is one of the reasons the school’s Red Cross Blood Drive was cancelled.
The Red Cross Blood Drive was scheduled for Saturday, March 28. Marian’s Student Board ultimately had to make the decision to cancel the drive.
“We just cannot risk putting any of our students at risk. Knowing Marian girls, they would have wanted to help and would have come even though this crisis is going on, but we decided for our own health and safety of our students that it was best to cancel,” senior Student Board president Emmy Kmiecik said. The Student Board has seen great success in the past blood drives and was hoping to collect 70 pints this year.
Donating blood can be a scary thing for many people, but Marian physics teacher Mr. Matt Winterboer assures students that they have nothing to worry about, as he has donated more than five gallons of blood in his lifetime. Though this is very impressive, he still has a long way to go before he catches up with his father who has donated 30 gallons of blood in his lifetime.
“I try to give [blood] as regularly as possible. I use the Red Cross’s mobile app to track my donations and schedule appointments. It’s helpful because it lets me know when I’m eligible to make my next donation,” Mr. Winterboer said. “Part of my motivation is personally knowing a few people who have received life saving blood transfusions, but mostly I feel like it is just a great way to pay it forward. I also know that my blood type (O-) is always in demand as it is critical in trauma situations.”
Senior Lauren Zadalis also warns there is nothing to fear. Zadalis has donated blood four times and was planning on participating in this year’s Marian blood drive.
“It isn’t as scary as it seems. I am terrified of needles but made it through! The worst part is when they prick your finger to test your blood. After that, it’s smooth sailing,” Zadalis said.
Due to the unforeseen circumstances related to the recent outbreak of COVID-19, the Red Cross is experiencing an extreme shortage of blood. Anyone is still able to give blood, as long as he or she is healthy. The Red Cross is taking extensive measures to ensure the safety of donors.
“I know how difficult it can be to fill a blood drive schedule with eligible donors,” Mr. Winterboer said. There are many restrictions put on one’s ability to give blood, so make sure to check prior to donating.
According to the Red Cross, “Most whole blood donations are spun in centrifuges to separate it into transfusable components: red cells, platelets, and plasma.” To name a few, blood donations can help those who suffer from severe accidents, cancer, or iron deficiencies.
The Red Cross currently has multiple drives a day in the Omaha-metro area.
You can make sure you qualify to donate and schedule an appointment on https://www.redcross.org/give-blood.html.
“The Red Cross is going through a major blood shortage right now due to COVID-19, so keep this entire situation in your thoughts and prayers,” Kmiecik said.