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West Side Story

The student news source of Iowa City West High

West Side Story

The student news source of Iowa City West High

West Side Story

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Akshethaa
Akshethaa Naveen-Kumar
Yearbook Co-Editor-in-Chief

(she/her) Akshethaa Naveen-Kumar is a senior and has been on the Trojan Epic staff for 3 years. She is currently Co-Editor-in-Chief of the yearbook, and her hobbies include reading thriller books, dancing...

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Red Cross recap

On April 12, West High’s Red Cross Club put on its annual blood drive. Learn more about the process, statistics and future drives in this recap of the event.
The+blood+drive+had+many+promotional+posts+and+meetings+throughout+the+year+building+up+to+the+drive.
Anna Greenlee
The blood drive had many promotional posts and meetings throughout the year building up to the drive.

On April 12, the American Red Cross came to West to host a blood drive in the dance room. From 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., both adults and students volunteered to help out or to donate. Donors were given water and snacks to help mitigate the possible negative effects of donating as well as a $10 Amazon voucher via email if their donation was successful.

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West’s Red Cross club started preparing in the fall when the club members first registered with the American Red Cross. Following meetings included screening for volunteers, making posters and promoting on social media leading up to the drive.

Forty-one total donors contributed to donate 31 units and 20 were first-time donors. Many first-time donors struggled with the fear and anxiety before donating but quickly discovered that it was easier than they thought.

“I think the anticipation of it was a lot more [painful] than how much it actually was, it was like 30 seconds of actual pain,” said Gwen Smith ’26. Similarly, Jarrett Hinrichs ’24 said, “I was a little nervous just because I’d never given blood before…but it really wasn’t that bad.” He did experience some negative side effects but quickly recovered with some water and rest. “At the time, I honestly didn’t feel anything. [Afterwards] I started to get a little faint, but other than that, I was good.”

It was a really easy process. You just sit there for five-ish minutes, you get to talk about random stuff, and then you get free apple juice. Donate your blood if you can because it’s helpful and not that bad.

— Gwen Smith '26

 

Seasoned donor Nora Stier ’24 says to, “Follow the instructions to the letter. Drink as much water as you can handle, eat a really good breakfast, don’t do any strenuous activity…when you donate blood, listen to the people that tell you to not do anything because they’re right.”

Stier started donating in her sophomore year at a Red Cross Club drive in a spur-of-the-moment decision but continued to donate both at school and around town. “I’ve donated every April at this school donation drive…[and] around Christmas time at a blood drive at the mall…And I just signed up without really thinking about the fact that I was donating blood and it would require a needle in my arm.” Like the other first-time donors, Stier found it easier than expected. “But then I actually got there and I was like ‘As long as I don’t think too much about it, it’s fine.’ And I didn’t have any bad reactions or anything.”

It’s been rewarding for me knowing that I’m donating blood in case somebody needs it…and it’s really easy. So it’s just a nice little thing you can do.

— Nora Stier '24

Next year’s blood drive is still in the works, but expect further information in the fall for both donors and volunteers. Contact club advisor Jessica Mehegan in room 230 or at [email protected] with questions.

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About the Contributor
Anna Greenlee
Anna Greenlee, Graphics Editor
Anna is a sophomore in her first year on staff. She's the graphics editor for the WSS website, as well as part of the school's band, theatre and sophomore volleyball team. But on her off time, she likes to watch movies (which make her cry really easily), cook, bake, paint and go water- or snow-skiing with family.
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