Donors give at Red Cross blood drive


Kevin Chen

Senior Ellie Murphy gets her blood drawn by a nurse from American Red Cross.

Not “I voted” but “I bled” was the text on the little red stickers donors got at the blood drive on Feb. 8. The Upper School Council held the blood drive, sponsored by the American Red Cross, in which students older than 16 and faculty were all invited to volunteer, be it donating blood or volunteering at the desk.

Upper School Council hoped to collect 20 units. In the end, the turnout was strong and the Red Cross collected 30 units.

Among the faculty who donated blood, Upper School Technology Coordinator Angie Kritta was one of the long-time donors. However, this is the first time she has donated blood through the American Red Cross. She notes that the blood drive’s proximity to the school and the length of the drive makes it more convenient for people to donate blood. As for donating the blood itself, Kritta focuses on how such an action helps people.

“It seems a little scary, but if you’ve done it a few times, it gets easier each time and knowing that you’re going to help other people is a great feeling,” Kritta said.

Sophomore Violet Benson, who just turned 16, registered to donate blood for the first time. In order to register, Benson signed up on a sheet at lunch, then brought her permit and parental consent form to the drive, which was processed by one of the American Red Cross staff in Driscoll Commons. Something Kritta and Benson have in common is their appreciation of how well the blood drive was run.

“I think it’s very organized. I think everyone’s super nice and excited and feeling good about themselves. So yeah, I think it’s going really well,” Benson said.

As for the organization itself, there were plenty of opportunities for students younger than 16 to make an impact. One such student is 9th grader Cerena Karmaliani, who decided to help in a manner that did not involve donating blood.

“I think it’s been really great,” Karmaliani said. “I think USC has taken initiative. Every period, someone signs up to come help and that’s a good sign.”

As the students lay on the tables, with a short line and snacks, juice and water for people who have donated blood while the staff takes the pints of blood, an opportunity to do good will hopefully return.