Student Senate helps to meet urgent need for blood


Last year, Student Senate members volunteered their time at the annual blood drive. This year, the drive will take place at the Summit County Fairgrounds Nov. 24. Student Senate is organizing, but they will not be able to assist.

Claire Taylor, Staff Writer

Every year, the Student Senate hosts a blood drive. Despite COVID-19, it is still happening Nov. 24 from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m., although the blood drive can not be hosted at Tallmadge High School. It will be at the Summit County Fairgrounds. Teacher Anna Blasko is the Student Senate adviser and helps to organize the blood drive. 

“To keep with social distancing and safe practices, all donors must have an appointment prior to donating. At this time we are unable to accept walk in donors due to Red Cross and Department of Health guidelines,” Blasko said. “We do ask that donors use the Red Cross app or our form whenever possible to schedule their appointment.”

The Red Cross has implemented many safety measures because of COVID-19. Masks must be worn, donors must be healthy, social distancing must be followed and temperatures will be taken before giving blood. The Red Cross is also limiting how many people are allowed in.

“Student Senate members are working to organize the drive, but we will not be volunteering. Per Red Cross guidelines and the school’s guidelines to limit the amount of people at the drive, only Red Cross staff and donors will be permitted at the drive,” Blasko said. 

COVID-19 has led to other changes as well. Donors’ blood is now tested for antibodies. If it is positive, they might be able to partake in the convalescent plasma donation program.

According to the Red Cross website, “Results will be available seven to 10 days after the donation is completed. Donors will be able to view the results of their COVID-19 antibody test…in both the Blood Donor App and on Results may not be available if the sample could not be tested.” 

Student Senate is still looking to award some seniors with a scholarship at the end of the school year. 

“We are still goaled to recruit a set number of donors.  If we reach our goal of donors THS does still receive the scholarship monies for seniors,” Blasko said. “Last year with our donor goals we were able to award four scholarships: two for $750 and two for $1000.”  

Blasko said the scholarships are appealing since donating takes just an hour of time and is rewarding in other ways.

“What I hear from most donors when they are donating are personal stories where they want to help others because of a family member or friend that received the life giving gift of a blood donation while in the hospital,” Blasko said. 

The Red Cross is in urgent need of blood. Student Senate is trying to set up more drives in January and April, but those are not guaranteed yet. 

The Red Cross website said, “The American Red Cross has a constant and ongoing need for blood and platelet donations. There is no known end date in this fight against coronavirus, and the Red Cross needs the help of blood and platelet donors and blood drive hosts to meet the needs of patient care.”