Twice a year Sacramento Adventist Academy partners with BloodSource to save lives. The MPR (multi-purpose room) or Library is turned into a blood donation center where students, parents, faculty and staff, alumni, and community members all come together to create a social event, the outcome of which helps many.
This Fall’s drive yielded particularly good numbers. Because of past years’ successes, BloodSource sent ten staff members and eight beds, compared to the eight staff members and six beds of previous years. Collecting 700 units of blood is BloodSource’s goal for each day. Junior Jake Calkins, SAA’s blood drive student organizer, set our contribution toward meeting this goal at 50 units. He expressed he felt some concern coming into the day but then volunteers kept coming through the Library doors and very few were deferred. At the end of the drive 69 donors had shown up, only nine were deferred, and SAA was able to supply 60 units helping BloodSource supply blood to over 40 regional hospitals.
Jake isn’t ready to sit back and enjoy the success of this fall’s drive. The school record is 63 units of blood, set when Kiana Myers, former SAA blood drive student organizer, was a senior. He hopes, with the continued support of his fellow students and community members, to break that record this coming May.
BloodSource works for the community in more ways than one. Each year, BloodSouce awards a $500 college scholarship to a graduating senior from each high school that hosts a blood drive. This year there were 100 winners of the 2014 BloodSource Scholarship. SAA’s recipient for 2014 was Sarah Fandrich.
So what will you experience if you decide to donate? This year I was finally able to donate blood again. (Having two kids is limiting in more ways than one.) When I walked through the glass doors of the Library, Gary Myers greeted me with a smile and the necessary instructions to begin what I thought would feel like a stereotypical trip to the DMV. Boy, was I wrong. I quickly moved from station to station with ease. After having my blood pressure, temperature, and hemoglobin checked, I was cleared to donate. I went straight to a reclining chair, more comfortable than anything I own. A quick prick and I was donating blood.
Sitting comfortably, I was able to observe my surroundings. I had come in about 9 a.m. and there was about a 50:50 split, students to adults, donating or waiting to donate blood. Jake Calkins circulated throughout the room as though he was the host of a social function, chatting with those sitting in the chairs, those filling out paperwork, those recovering at the snack table. The BloodSource personnel were professional and friendly, adding to the relaxing atmosphere.
The last station, the snack table, provided crackers, cookies, water, and juice, and more conversation. The student volunteers made sure you felt at ease and replenished before going on with the rest of your day. The other donors chatted and passed the time together. Overall, the hour or so I spent in the library was less of an ordeal and more of a friendly get-together.