Saturday, March 2, 2013

I Almost Make a Difference

One of the duties privileges I inherited with my role as Key Club advisor was to host the high school's bi-annual Red Cross Blood Drive. The early drives in my tenure averaged about a collection rate of 65 pints. The number went down when more strict weight requirements were adopted for females and then back up when sixteen-year-olds became eligible to donate (with parent permission). Now, I average 90 pints per collection. We have to park a Bloodmobile with 4 extra beds outside the auditorium door to handle the overflow. And at the end of the day, I still have to turn away students that we just couldn't fit in. It's a pretty amazing day... twice a year.

"A great day to save lives," I (borrow from Grey's Anatomy and) post to Facebook the morning each drive.

There are several kids that I know just from the blood drive- kids that I have never taught. It's such an easy and meaningful way for kids to get involved. It's surprising some times to see who signs up to give. And give, and give again. I had two brothers that with this blood drive became "Gallon Donors" for giving their 8th pint. I have always said that my bottom-line sense of achievement doesn't come from reaching the "goal" set upon me by Red Cross, but by feeling that I have instilled in some kids the desire to continue being blood donors long after their high school years.

In honor of my Sweet 16th Blood Drive I tried to give blood for the first time. I like to make it sound like a noted occasion, but the truth is... I finally just built up the nerve. And, I tried to do it very early in the day before I lost the nerve again. Alas, it was not to be done though because my iron was too low. After expressing my shock at the abnormally high number of girls being turned away for low iron, I joined their number. It had not even been a consideration to me that I would have low iron. I know I don't eat any semblance of a healthy diet but I (wrongly) presumed that just by eating more than enough, my iron level would certainly be more than enough. I was even contemplating whether I should Double Donate since it might make me "unavailable" to supervise the drive for a longer period of time. Wrong. The only "battle wounds" I had for the day were two pricked fingers. Sadly, when they picked the second finger for a re-count, it was even lower than the first! (12.0 vs. 12.3)

No, I have absolutely no ideas why I posed as if I were throwing gang signs.

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