Red Cross Club collects 50 units of blood at the annual blood drive


Lauren Alparaz

Clark Magnet students donating blood in the auditeria.

Students arrived to school greeted on Feb. 27 with an unusual sight: a Red Cross blood donation van. Prior to that day, students in Clark’s Red Cross Club had spent weeks making posters and hosting signups for the annual blood drive at the school’s auditeria. From 8:30 am to 2:45 pm, students, faculty members and adults from the La Crescenta area with appointments were called in to donate their blood.

This year Clark’s Red Cross broke its previous record from a year ago with 60 student signups. Due to school policies, however, only students older than seventeen years old were eligible to donate blood with parental consent. They also had to meet a minimum weight requirement relative to their height and gender. Once potential donors checked in on the day of the blood drive, they had to consult a doctor and receive the doctor’s approval before going through the donation process.

Senior Alen Shirvanyan, the last donor of the day, signed up because of a last minute announcement made at 2:30 encouraging any final signups. He went out of his way to ask the office to contact his mother for consent and even missed his bus ride home to donate. Teachers such as Dominique Evans-Bye, Gerald Gruss and Randy Tiffany took time out of their busy schedules to donate as well.

After the donors finished giving a pint of blood, they were encouraged to go to the snack table to eat or drink either crackers, cookies, juice or water, and sit for at least ten minutes to regain their strength. Some students had to stay longer because they felt light-headed or nauseated.

Although junior Gennine Lagman was not afraid of blood, it was her experience after giving blood that scared her. “I sat down for two minutes to eat cookies and I needed to use the restroom so I left,” she said. “I got a headache and I started seeing black spots so I got scared. Then I couldn’t hear anything, it was like being in a concert; the sound was muffled so I sat down.” Lagman was then escorted back into the auditeria where she stayed for the rest of the school day.

A senior who wished to be anonymous was found on the floor by the school’s custodian after she fainted. However, if given the opportunity, both Lagman and the senior said they would donate blood again. “I did it to make a difference for someone who needs it,” said Lagman.

At the end of the successful day, 50 units of blood from 50 donors were collected for the Red Cross Blood Drive. “Apparently, one pint can save three lives,” said senior Lusine Agadzhanyan, a first-time donor who added that she would happily go through the experience again. “I was nervous in the beginning but it’s nice knowing I helped saved someone.”

Apparently, one pint can save three lives

— right