FDSH blood drive scores

It was the kind of success you could take to the bank. The blood bank, that is.

A blood drive held March 15 at Fort Dodge Senior High, sponsored by the National Honor Society in collaboration with LifeServe Blood Center, yielded many volunteers and much blood that will save lives.

“Depending on how that blood was used, up to 237 lives were saved,” Fran Long, NHS coordinator, said.

The goal for the drive, the 21st hosted by the high school, was to collect 115 units of donated blood.

“We had about 140 appointments that were made, and 99 showed up to attempt to donate,” Long said. “Some were not able to because they maybe were sick, maybe they were anemic. Something like that. There were 79 pints of blood collected; 51 of those were first-time donors.”

According to Long, those are good numbers.

“We like it if we get above 90. We’re really excited if we get above 115, so we were a little short,” he said. “We had about 40 more students signed up to donate for the blood drive before Christmas, but that one was canceled because of the weather.”

While professionals from LifeServe collected the blood, the school’s National Honor Society students were instrumental in the drive’s success.

“The students are the ones that helped sign people up. They worked down there that day actually handing out cookies, helping with the registration process,” Long said. “They took photographs, that type of thing.”

Long said it’s always pleasing to see such student involvement.

“These students do a lot of volunteering with the blood drive and such, and many of them donate also,” he said. “It’s good for them to become part of this process.”

Some students, Long said, even belong to a special club.

“A number of students qualify for something called Graduate with Eight, where they will have donated eight or more times by the time they graduate,” he said. “And many of them go on to become life-long donors.”

Students in the National Honor Society are selected because of their character, leadership, service and scholarship, Long said.

“They’re, for the most part, the leaders of this school,” he said. “They’re very active, very busy. Good kids.”

Donating blood is worthwhile, he said.

“Living blood, donated blood, is the only way you can come up with a product that can be transfused when people need it,” Long said. “There’s many examples of local people where blood has been given to them to save their life. And the only way you can get it is by people donating it.”