When the Red Cross called our Service Learning Director Miranda Jennings about having a Fall Blood Drive in late October, Miranda knew right away who to call on. She asked Faculty Member Sarah Brandwood to lead it. With Sarah’s outgoing positive attitude and contagious laugh, Sarah quickly builds enthusiasm for any activity that she is involved in. Sarah quickly began assembling her team to help pull it together. Faculty member Hannah Kang, and students Teagan M. ‘20, Rebecca L. ‘19 and Betty Z. ‘19, rounded out the volunteers that greeted donors, conducted patient intakes, processed paperwork, and handed out snacks to donors for multiple hours on multiple days.
Giving blood saves 4.5 million lives a year in the United States alone. Unfortunately, only 38% of the US population is eligible to give blood, and only 10% of that eligible population donates blood making it very important for as many eligible donors as possible to donate. Every two seconds someone in the United States needs a blood transfusion. It is possible to save three lives with one donation as each pint is separated into three primary components cells, plasma, and platelets. Donated blood most often help people involved in car accidents, organ transplants, trauma patients, bone marrow transplants, and burn victims.
When I spoke to Rebecca Levine and asked her what trait from the “Great 8” WE C2AR3E2: Collaborative, Courageous, Adaptable, Resourceful, Responsible, Empathetic, Ethical, personifies the blood drive best, and she quickly countered with “Empathy.” She said, “We are all aware of the deadly Hurricanes that ripped through Houston and islands in the Caribbean like Puerto Rico, and we as students understand that people are hurting and need our help. We wanted to do our part and lend a hand to those in need.”
The following week at Community Meeting the entire school gave Rebecca, Ms. Brandwood and the rest of the blood drive crew a big hand with a big loud round of applause in appreciation for their efforts as they surpassed the goal that the Red Cross had given them. This is the kind of spirit that our Service Learning program generates on a daily basis at The Winchendon School that we all are so proud to belong to!