Blood Drive Comes to Pascack Hills

By Allison Murphy


Photo by Grady Johnson

On Thursday, November 17, Pascack Hills welcomed Community Blood Services, a not-for-profit organization that supplies blood and blood products to hospitals in the New Jersey/New York region. It was evident, with the large red bus parked directly outside the cafeteria, that this was the event that many had been waiting for since it was announced.

 Nurse Rose Welyczko sent out an announcement about a month in advance before the date by sending out a call to action to all Hills students that were at least 16 years of age or older, “Let’s show our Hills Pride and give the Gift of Life!”

 To participate in the blood drive, students ages 16 or 17 must have their parent or guardian sign a form recognizing that their child will be a donor. Faculty members were also given the opportunity to participate.

Both students and faculty members had to create an appointment for when to get their blood drawn, but according to junior Caroline Oteri, the presence of having an appointment did not really seem to help that much.

“I actually ended up not getting my blood drawn, because by the time that I got there, they were already about two hours behind. I was looking forward to it, but the wait was way too long. I was missing way too much of the day; I couldn’t afford it. I’m not actually annoyed though, because I can donate my blood outside of school, too, so it was not like this was my only opportunity.”

Ultimately, the reasoning for donating was consistent for many. As junior Aidan Lee said, “Because why not? It’s something so simple, so if you are able to do it, do it. After all, you could be saving someone’s life.”

According to Welyczko, the blood drive was a huge success, because the goal was a total of 22 donors, but “50 donors were registered; 38 units were collected. In the end, Hills once again raised the bar, supporting Hills Pride.”

Contrary to the overall success, there were a few issues that occurred on the day of the blood drive.

“Students need to read their emails,” Welyczko said. “A lot of communication is transmitted through emails. For example, students were told to submit parental consent and schedule their time to donate in advance, yet so many students brought in consent and wanted to donate the day of [the blood drive]. The Bloodmobile was staffed according to the donors I had scheduled and therefore we were unable to process all of the extra donors. In other words, we had to turn away 12 potential donors, plus additional faculty that also wanted to donate because we simply ran out of time.”

To participate in the next blood drive that Pascack Hills will be hosting, which will be in the spring, Welyczko says to pay attention to the deadlines given out and hand in your consents on time, if not earlier. The next blood drive’s goal is to have at least 50 donors.

Junior Michelle Cheng advises: “Eat breakfast and drink a lot of water! Drinking a lot of water makes it a lot easier for them to find your veins, and eating breakfast beforehand eliminates a large majority of the possibility of becoming faint after getting your blood drawn.”

Lee adds, “It’s not as scary as I thought it would be. Just do it, and don’t think about it. Also don’t look at your arm while they’re doing it.”