Students give life to others|WHS blood drive exceeds its goal

Published 7:34 am Thursday, December 3, 2009

Staff Writer

Around 150 Washington High School students signed up to give blood Wednesday during an American Red Cross blood drive.
The sign-up goal had been 72, said Deborah Meekins, allied-health teacher at the high school.
Meekins indicated she was pleased that the blood drive exceeded its projected total.
“So far we’re doing pretty well with what we have on the schedule,” she said, adding that few students were having second thoughts about donating.
The event was staffed in part by the high school’s allied-health students, Meekins explained.
Most of the allied-health students plan to go into medicine, and Meekins’ classes likely contain future nurses, doctors, radiologists and more, the teacher said.
The drive was one of two to be staged at the school during the school year, with the second one slated for the spring, Meekins related.
Among the donors and volunteer organizers was senior Nakeydia Gardner.
Asked why she gave blood, Gardner replied, “Because I was told it could save three lives, and I thought it could be my family one day.”
Asked if the process was painful, she said, “No,” adding, “It’s like a prick and then that was it.”
WHS staff and faculty also gave blood during the drive.
Among the donors was Travis Carter, the school’s theater teacher.
Reclining on a chair as a he made his donation, Carter said he was on his way to contributing pint No. 34, referring to his lifetime total.
He said he’s been giving blood for 30 years, adding that he averaged donations every eight weeks when he was younger and had more time to donate.
“It doesn’t hurt,” Carter commented. “Take a deep breath and relax. If you relax, it doesn’t hurt.”