Vikings save lives one drop at a time

Sarah Menendez

The gymnasium was transformed into a virtual blood bank as students anxiously waited to give blood for the semi annual Red Cross Blood Drive on Wednesday, October 28. Rows of black stretchers were filled with nervous students giving blood while Red Cross workers buzzed around in a hospital-like environment. Although age, height, and weight limits made this fall’s blood drive smaller in comparison to last year’s spring drive, it did not stop Downey’s bighearted students from giving.

“We usually do exceptionally well with Blood Drives,” says ASB Commissioner of Public Relations Jacob Michael.

Michael added that DHS students compared to other high schools generally rank highly in events such as Pennies for Patients, the PTA Food Drive, and the Red Cross Blood Drive. As a result of Wednesday’s donations, Downey is ranked as one of the top blood donation schools in Southern California, donating 404 units of blood. Vikings take this not as a chance to get out of class, or get free food, but a chance to save lives.

Although a relaxed environment was created with music from Jack Johnson and Paramore playing on the gym’s speakers, many first-timers quivered and shook in their seats. For a number of first time donors, this not only served as a chance to give, but also as an opportunity to overcome fears of needles, blood, or donating in general.

“I want to see how it feels, then I won’t be scared anymore,” said senior Lindsey Martinez who was giving blood for the first time.

The fact that you can save three lives by just donating one pint of blood helped Martinez and many other donors overcome their fears. All students at the event seemed to be inspired and motivated to give a part of themselves in hopes of saving another.

“It’s not about me, it’s about the people I’m going to save,” said another first timer, Maria Patricia Morales, who was filled with the spirit of generosity this event elicited.

Several students who were packed with busy schedules also took this chance to give.

“I’m too busy to donate outside of school, so it’s really convenient that they have a blood drive here for us,” says senior Danielle Cummings, a returning donor.

Cummings felt that the convenience of having a blood drive at school gives students extra motivation to get out and save some lives.

Overall, the act of charity seen by these brave donors was moving. Whether it was their first or fourth time, students were motivated to do good and help others. Once again, the Vikings showed that together, they make a difference, saving lives one drop at a time.