Student Donors Vital to Blood Drive

By Faith Walauskas

The gift of life is significantly easier to give than most people think.

Penn Manor and Lancaster General Hospital held a blood drive in the school’s band room Feb. 24.

“You fill out a form, and the nurse checks you for your iron count and blood pressure,” says blood drive organizer Jenn Rote, “You can’t have any recent piercings or tattoos, you can’t be sick, you must be over 110 pounds and you can’t have been out of the country for the past year.”

The drive was a great success according to Serteen adviser and Penn Manor Science teacher Barb Rathbone-Frank.

“Over 50 pints of blood were donated by students and teachers to LGH today,” said Rathbone Frank in an e-mail following the event.  “Each pint is worth $160 to $300 depending upon the type (O- is the most expensive and hard to find).  This equates to a donation of approximately $8,000 to $15,000 worth of blood.  In human terms, each pint saves three lives.”

Prospective donors who were out of the country recently could not give blood because of the quality of water abroad and the chance of passing water-born illnesses.

Students could voluntarily donate one pint of their blood to help in the effort to save the lives of people in need of the life saving liquid.

“If you don’t know what blood type you are, they run tests and send the information to you later on.” Rote said.

The all day event is held once every year usually in late winter.

Senior Morgan Moses helped with the blood drive. Photo by Faith Walauskas

Penn Manor senior Joe Gordon said “It’s a really great experience, it helps save lives and it only takes about 15 to 20 minutes.”

This is Gordon’s second time donating blood.

The event gives incentives for students to donate by offering food and snacks to eat after donating and by offering door prizes.

“They (the nurses) ask you questions and they take your blood,” said Penn Manor Senior Morgan Moses. “It’s really great because you get all this free food.”

This year was Moses’ first time donating.

“The event is organized by the Serteen Blood Drive Chairman – this year it was Jenn Rote.  She is also the club’s President Elect, so this means that she will be our Club President next year,” said Rathbone-Frank.

“In the past we recruited by holding (with the Principal’s help) special homeroom sessions for seniors and juniors,” said Rathbone-Frank.  There, the homeroom teachers gave out information and the TV studio showed a brief film.  With all the snow disruptions this year, we decided to recruit students at lunches so had a table there with information.”