Muncy blood drive gives money for scholarships
MUNCY – Students were well received when the Geisinger Blood Center came to Muncy High School last Wednesday to help donors raise more money towards scholarship funds.
Key Club advisor, Matt Alexander, and head librarian for the school district, organized the drive hoping some students who never gave before would come to donate.
“We get credit for all presenting donors, even if they get turned away,” said Alexander. “The money can be used for any student, not just Key Club members.” He explained that a presenting donor is someone who shows up, whether they were able to donate or not.
Approximately 82 students signed up in advance, he said. “We have been doing this for the past three to four years.” Based upon participation, scholarships will be given by Geisinger Blood Center.
The students were prepared last week during their lunch schedule with a video presentation explaining why people need blood and how it is collected and distributed. They were also given some information on iron rich foods.
“We can save many, many lives,” explained Shawn James, an account executive from Geisinger who came to the school to oversee the process. “This is a great community service. We are currently working with 30 high schools,” he added. Nine phlebotomists came with him to the school to assist the students and staff from 8 to 2. The public was able to donate after 2 p.m. until 4 p.m. Donors had to fill out a questionnaire and pass a mini-physical and an iron level test.
Principal, Tim Welliver said that this year the students used chairs instead of tables which made it better for them to relax. They could easily see each other and give each other support. “The chairs are tailored more to adolescents rather than the tables,” Welliver said. “They like them better.” 17 or 18 can donate blood at once.
Dr. Portia Brandt, School Superintendent, was the first one to donate. She arrived at 8 a.m. and was followed by about a dozen teachers. Student Jessica Westmoreland said this was her first time giving blood. She thought it went well and would like to give again when the blood drive comes back again in March.
Alyssa Gravelle said she wants to give blood again and likes the fact that it’s helping others. She said they had to prick her finger and check her blood pressure. “At first I didn’t make it, but then they pricked another finger, and I got to give,” she said proudly.
Senior Joshua Lloyd said he has given blood three times so far and hopes to continue giving blood after graduation.
The school sponsors two blood drives a year and have been doing so for the past five years according to Alexander. Geisinger will donate money towards scholarships based on the amount of participation.