Schools go head to head in blood donation competition


Rockford River Blood Bank AST member Allysa Eller, Yahyah Siddiqui (11), Health teacher Mr. Jeremiah Tews, Baraa Thanoon (11).

   Since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, there has been a significant shortage of blood donations throughout Rockford. Although the pandemic caused this shortage, people’s lives are still endangered without the blood donations that they usually receive. To combat this shortage of blood donations, the Health Academy Student Advisory Committee created a competition where Rockford schools go head to head against each other and see which one can donate the most blood. The overall goal of the event was to meet the demands of the blood supplies while also giving back to the community.

   “We normally have two blood drives a year at Guilford,” said Mr. Jeremiah Tews, Health Academy Student Advisory Committee Advisor and Health teacher. “The purpose was to have students run and shadow the phlebotomist while they work. This way students can observe people in their careers. Since we could not host a blood drive, we decided as our academy to create a competition to get students to visit the blood center and donate since blood donations have drastically decreased because of the pandemic.”

   With the competition starting at the beginning of March and now having two months left, there have been 784 bags of blood donated in total. Guilford has collected 50 bags of blood since the beginning of last month, putting the Vikings in fourth place between the five schools that are competing.

   “There is no specific amount of blood we are trying to raise,” said Taylor Doe, sophomore SAC member. “Our goal is to try and beat the other schools’ blood donation quantity while also trying to raise as much blood as possible.”

   The advisory committee has partnered with the Rock River Valley Blood Centers in order to make this blood donation possible. You can go to any RRVBC location and donate blood. To help a specific school, you must clarify which school your donation is going to. 

   The Health Academy Student Advisory Committee has been promoting the blood drive through social media and within the school building. They made teachers aware of the blood drive so they could spread the word to their students through hanging signs or verbal communication. The committee has been an exemplar in donating blood, with most of the members donating or planning to donate.

   “I think the biggest reason that I would like to donate blood is because of the rewards that come after,” said Alexandria Vergara-Aldana, sophomore SAC member. “ With just donating once you are saving three lives. It feels so rewarding getting a call notifying you that your blood was used. One person’s donation doesn’t seem like a lot, but someone battling with health conditions, it could save their lives.”