A-positive blood drive: Sequoits save lives

Antioch Community High School hosted a blood drive on Oct. 28, 2021. Students and teachers alike took part in donating blood to Vitalent, and the event was able to save 468 lives.

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Ashley Lubkeman

The blood drive nurses attend to every patient to ensure they are as comfortable and relaxed as possible.

Vitalant, a nonprofit organization that collects and provides blood across the US, provided nurses in the ACHS auxiliary gym who were able to take donors’ blood. Many Sequoits donated blood during their gym class as a way to serve those in need. 

Gym teacher Gregg Henning is in charge of the blood drive every year. Henning sees the importance of teaching high schoolers how they can help save lives while they are still in high school.

“[The blood drive] is more to teach kids what’s important: being a good community member and helping others,” Henning said. “That’s really the biggest goal, on top of saving as many lives as we can.” 

Senior Charlie Haling donated blood on Thursday as a way to give back to his community. 

“I understand that there are people in need,” Haling said. “Those people need [my] help.”  

The benefits of giving blood extend past the time of the blood drive. After the event, students get an email when their donation is used. This is a great way for those who donate to see the kind of impact they are making. 

“I think especially if [students] sign up with an email and they get that notification saying, ‘hey, your blood just saved someone’s life,’ [it is beneficial],” Henning said. “There’s actually a follow-through, it’s not just one and done.”

Senior Zach Lewis donated blood on Thursday because of personal connections to the need for blood. 

“My main reason for giving blood is both my parents needed blood because they both had cancer,” Lewis said. “I figured, if my parents needed it, why not help out somebody else’s?” 

In addition to teaching students lifelong lessons, ACHS blood drives make an actual difference.

“Antioch has the largest blood drive–next to the Chicago Blackhawks–in the state,” Henning said. 

It is evident that there are numerous reasons for the semi-annual blood drive. It promotes service while also helping the community with its need for blood. The next blood drive will be in the spring. As a school, ACHS is committed to helping others with their time and their blood.