Blood drives save lives

On June 5, Jennifer Gavriiloglou, 11, donates blood to the Red Cross in the Downey High School gym, because she wants to save lives. “This is my first time donating and it was a great experience,” Gavriiloglou stated.

Sabrina Picou, Editor-In-Chief

On Fri., June, 5 the blood drive was held at Downey High, in the school’s gymnasium, and was hosted by the American Red Cross, which hosts 200,000 blood drives every year. Students and staff participate in this donation annually to help save the lives of those who need blood transfusions, and community members are also welcome to donate. The Red Cross started providing blood for patients in the 1940s and this act is still practiced 75 years later.


Inside the gymnasium there were ASB members helping assist those inside and direct them to their designated station. There was also a resting section for those who donated to eat, drink, and rejuvenate after being a hero for the day. Of all of the schools in Southern California, Downey High is the largest high school donor for the American Red Cross.


Student Jorge Espisona, 11, shares why he chose to donate blood to the American Red Cross and how he hopes other people will do the same.


“I am donating because I would only hope that if I were in need of blood someone would be kind enough to do the same for me,” Jorge Espinoza, 11, said.


During donations, each participant donates 1 pint of blood to the American Red Cross, and by providing 1 pint they help save up to three lives. Every two seconds a patient needs a blood transfusion and thanks to the ARC, the school is able to provide blood for those patients in need. After donation, the blood is stored in bags inside iced coolers until it is transported to a Red Cross center. Blood is available for distribution to hospitals by the ARC 24 hours a day, seven days a week.


Cindy Foley, the school’s financial clerk expresses why she participated in the blood drive. Foley has donated over 100 units of blood throughout her life.


“I choose to donate because it helps people and the experience is really good,” Foley said. “I didn’t even feel the needle go in it was over before I knew it.”


Rob Torres, senior PO manager of The American Red Cross states why high school is an important time for students to donate blood.


“This is where you first start donating blood so we always hope they have a positive experience,” Torres said. “This is where they start it or end it right here.”


The blood drive ended at 2:50 p.m. that day. There will be another blood drive in the first semester of the 2015-16 school year, and one following that in second semester. Downey High has been donating blood to the American Red Cross for many years and will continue to do so.