The annual SCHS blood drive brings in over 90 donors


Neha Mandava

The SBC staff aid students who are donating blood to help those in need.

Early Tuesday morning, Jan. 29, senior Georgina Perez walked into SCHS’s small gym to find at least a dozen people in white coats bustling between rows of reclined patient chairs. Upbeat pop music filled the air, making the room feel bright, alive and cheerful.

Perez was one of the 94 who donated at SCHS’s annual blood drive, hosted by the Stanford Blood Center. Together, they reached the maximum capacity of donors for the event.

Donating was a positive experience for Perez, who also participated last year. “I love helping out,” she said. “You never know who needs your blood.”

Karen Hendryk, the Donor Recruitment Manager for the Stanford Blood Center, can attest to the importance of student donors. Forty-five high schools throughout the East Bay participate in the SBC’s blood drive, according to Hendryk.

“We collect up to 20 percent of our overall blood supply from the high school blood drives,” Hendryk said. “During the summer…we are often in a critical shortage for blood and part of the reason is because we don’t have high schools.”

Although Hendryk encourages students to donate blood, she and the SBC team take precautions with patients. All registered students have to pass weight, age and health requirements in order to proceed with their donation, and approximately 20 percent of registered students are deferred.

Students are required to fill out a questionnaire and pass a blood screening test prior to having their blood drawn. According to junior Anthony Serafini, it takes around 10 minutes for the blood to be drawn. Despite the initial prick of pain, he believes donating is worthwhile.

“Having a needle poked in you might be unnerving for some people, but after it’s poked in you, you don’t really notice it,” Serafini said. He even describes his time at the drive as relaxing.

Providing good experiences at these drives is one of the SBC’s major goals. According to Hendryk, by explaining to students their blood could save a life, the SBC hopes to encourage students to donate at least once or twice a year.

“It’s something you can do to really help the world,” Hendryk said.