Pine-Richland blood drive vital as supplies are ‘dangerously low’ in Pittsburgh
Tuesday, October 15, 2019 | 12:01 AM
The students of Pine-Richland High School will be holding their fall blood drive Oct. 23, and community members are invited to join and help replenish the low supply in Pittsburgh.
Donors will also help one student earn a scholarship at the end of the year.
Each year, Pine-Richland Opportunities Fund gives a scholarship to one student who has been active and involved in the blood drives, whether it’s a member of the four-person organizing committee or a student who helps in other ways. There are four drives per year, and each one has a goal — this fall it’s to get 100 donors — and if the students meet that goal, Vitalant, the blood bank the drive supplies, will donate money to the scholarship fund.
Last year, PROF awarded a $3,500 scholarship to the winner.
“There is an incentive for (the students) to follow through on their commitment and promote the drive, to make a difference not only for themselves but for the community members that really need blood donations,” said Allison Romano, who volunteers as the community organizer and coordinates between the student organizers and Vitalant.
Each year, four seniors take control of organizing the drive, Romano said. This year they are Alice Kimmel, Kaitlyn Newport, Sophia Olszewski and Kang-Young Kim. Their responsibilities include recruiting other student volunteers to give homeroom presentations, holding meetings to go over talking points for those presentations, advertising the drive during morning announcements and on PRTV, hanging flyers, registering students and working in the canteen distributing post-donation drinks and snacks.
Getting students accustomed to donating blood is important for ensuring ongoing donations, Romano said.
“The reps at Vitalant have explained that over time, donations have really dropped and that, unfortunately, young people aren’t donating blood on a regular basis like the generations before them, which has left the blood supply in our area dangerously low,” she said. “The idea is to increase awareness, get the word out that people should be donating if they can, and try to make a habit out of it for these young students.”
If you go
What: Pine-Richland High School Scholarship Blood Drive
When: 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 23
Where: Gym at the high school
Register: At vitalant.org using code HS010058 to ensure students get credit. All donors will receive a stainless steel straw. Must be 16 to donate.