DGS hosts blood drive


Ava Lafin

Students wait in the small gym before getting their blood drawn.

Ava Lafin, Opinions Editor

DGS hosted its semi-annual blood drive on Thursday May 5th with students and staff participating. The blood drive was held in the small gym, running all 8 periods in the day. Students over the age of sixteen had the opportunity to donate during their lunch or gym period.

The Blood drive was hosted by Versiti, an organization that runs blood drives throughout Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio. The organization set up the blood drive in the small gym at DGS with staff and volunteers helping the donation process.

Blood donation has decreased since the rise of the pandemic in 2020. According to the American Red Cross, America is suffering the worst blood shortage in over a decade. The Red Cross is specifically in need of O+, O- blood as well as platelets.

Student blood drives supplies 25% of all blood donations in the nation in 2019, yet in 2020, when the pandemic hit its height, student donations lowered to 10%. Cancellations in drives due to illness have also impacted the national shortage.

Jill Erzig, a PE teacher at South, was the coordinator for this semester’s blood drive.

“This is a passion project for me. Mr. Garamone gave me this opportunity a couple years ago, he passed down the torch to me. I’m passionate about anything we can do to give back. This is one great thing that we do, twice a year, for our community in hopes that we can save a life,” Erzig said.

Students were able to participate in multiple ways this semester as volunteers or donors. Those that donated were able to donate blood or more specifically, red blood cells. The process of donating blood cells takes longer as the blood must be separated, but it can be used to save people with specific illnesses like Sickle Cell Anemia or major blood loss due to trauma.

Donators like Senior Zach Mead realized the difference they are making in their participation.

“I think it’s important to donate blood because a lot of people need it and there’s a large need for people who are sick or for surgeries,” Mead said.

The next anticipated blood drive will be in 1st semester during the 2022 to 2023 school year.