Wednesday, October 25, was OHS’s annual Blood Drive. The Blood Drive was run by OHS’s Key Club and overseen by Key Club advisors Mr. Zylbert and Ms. DeJose. Tons of OHS students (ages 16 and up) flooded the Blood Drive to volunteer, donate, and each save three lives.
Mr. Zylbert, who has only been working at the school for three years, has run the Blood Drive for the past two years now. He explained, “We were told last year at our first Blood Drive we had approximately 117 units/donations, which we were told might have been a school record, so we were very happy about that.”
Although every blood drive helps to save lives, this year’s timing of the Blood Drive was an important factor. Mr Zylbert described, “As I’m sure our students are very aware, we’ve had recent hurricanes in New Orleans, Florida, and Puerto Rico. We had the horrific shooting in Las Vegas. After these catastrophes, there are so many areas that we have to think about, so many steps that have to be taken by local, state, and federal governments to address these situations. And one of the steps that have to be taken care of is, is there a stable supply of blood available for the victims in these instances?” That is where OHS steps in. We may be one school, but we can make a great impact.
“When a hurricane is going on, people are so focused (understandably) on getting themselves to safety, checking in on their loved ones, etc. Potentially rebuilding from there – that is the farthest thing from their mind,” Mr. Zylbert articulated. “[However], some facilities that would actually be the locations for blood donations are rendered, inoperable for at least a temporary time.” When these situations occur, other parts of the country, and the world for that matter, are depended on. “For example, during Hurricane Sandy, the New York region received blood from other parts of the country. And now we’re kinda returning the favor in that other parts of the country are having trouble getting blood donations during these events. So now, we’re going to step it up. And perhaps some of our supplies that we’ve gained from the students at the Blood Drive can actually go out and help those in need in the areas hurt by these troubling events.”
Mr. Zylbert’s favorite part of the Blood Drive is “since I know the students of the school so well, just being able to have those conversations with the students in a non-classroom setting and also have them at a time when they’ve just done a pretty significant good deed for their community. So all in all, it’s just a lot of good feelings floating around in the gym that day. Everybody’s contributing. It’s just a happy place to be around.”
Senior Rachel Finkelstein, who donated blood, described, “Participating in the blood drive was a rewarding experience. It is heartwarming to know that something as easy as donating blood can help save up to three lives.”
The Blood Drive was indeed a success, especially since OHS students could potentially be helping those hurt by these recent tragic events.