Last week, Ridgefield High School’s HOSA Club (also known as Future Health Professionals) and Bloodworks Northwest co-hosted their bi-annual blood donation drive, registering 57 students, staff, and community members for donations! It was a successful drive, especially considering the small window of time between the start of the school year and the day of the drive.
RHS 10th grader and Blood Drive Coordinator Marin Fitzgerald said she and her team spent a good chunk of their summer break working to make sure the event ran as smoothly as possible. “It was great practice for us to organize an event like this,” she said. “Everyone in HOSA is interested in going into a healthcare profession, and these blood drives give us firsthand experience and insight into what that might look like someday. Besides that, donating blood and helping to educate our high school peers on the importance of donating is a really rewarding experience.” Bloodworks Northwest’s Community Engagement Liaison Lauren Reagan was impressed with the work Marin and the rest of the HOSA Club members did to make the event such a success.
“It’s been a pleasure working with Marin and the HOSA Club this summer,” Reagan said. “They play such a key role in these events. They’re the first faces that people see when they come in to donate. They set the tone and manage the flow, keeping donors moving through the different stations. They’ve all done an incredible job, and it’s so rewarding for all of us to see the boxes stacking up throughout the day with all of the blood being collected.“
Reagan says that high school students are vitally important to ensuring there is an adequate supply of blood to meet demand. “Prior to COVID, high school students made up about 25% of the region’s blood supply,” Reagan said. “Unfortunately, the pandemic put a stop to that for a few years, but the need for blood never stops. It doesn’t take a break. That’s why Bloodworks Northwest works 364 days a year. Thankfully, we’re once again able to work with HOSA to reintroduce blood donations in high schools. It’s a huge opportunity to rebuild the donor base.”
The next blood drive at RHS will be held in March, so stay tuned for updates on how you can sign up to make a donation.