By Nat Needham
On Wednesday, April 6, the HRVHS gym was filled with Red Cross volunteers and medical equipment. The school holds a blood drive annually for the students and staff to have an opportunity to give blood during school hours. Students age 16 and above could participate as long as they met the weight and height requirements. A total of 104 units were donated, which is 13 gallons!
Senior Austin Marques decided to give blood this year. “What goes around comes around,” Marques said of his donation. “Someday I might need blood. We all need to do our part.” This year was the second time Marques donated. According to him, it doesn’t hurt, but “It’s uncomfortable when the needle goes in.”
Alexis Ortiz, a senior, has donated twice at the school’s drive and seven times total. “I just want to help out,” he said. “It saves lives.”
Even Dan Goldman, superintendent of the Hood River Valley school district, showed up to donate his blood. “I believe it’s important to give back to others and also to pay good deeds forward whenever I get the chance,” he wrote in an email. “When people are in dire need in an emergency, I want to help in any way I can. Giving blood is an easy and effective way to make a real difference in the lives of others. I sure hope that if members of my family ever needed blood in a crisis that a supply would be there for them.”
Goldman seemed proud of the students that participated. “I think it’s great that our students care so much about others that they are willing to sacrifice a little time, a tiny bit of pain, and a pint of blood. It also builds character when one does something selflessly for others. A society that ensures the health of all it’s citizens is a society worth living in! It’s a great life-lesson.”
Many of the volunteers were first-time donors. Daisy Matios was one such donor. “I think it will hurt a little bit, but then it’s going to go away,” she said before the needle went in. Matios, a sophomore, said afterwards that she plans to do it again. “It’s good karma,” she said. “I want to be sure I’ve contributed to a system I might use.”
Antonio Bustos was also a first-time donor. “My girlfriend made me,” Bustos, a senior, joked. “I might do it again. We’ll see how I feel after this.”