NJHS Student Volunteers Complete Blood Drive

NJHS Student Volunteers Complete the Cycle of Service at the American Red Cross Community Blood Drive
NJHS Students

NJHS Student Volunteers Complete the Cycle of Service at the American Red Cross Community Blood Drive
By: Renee Curren

Good standing of the CTMS National Junior Honor Society (NJHS) is completing the necessary hours of volunteer work. One of the ways students can obtain hours is by volunteering at one of the American Red Cross blood drives hosted by the school. 

Community members looking to donate blood have the opportunity to donate close to home.  Rio Rico High School and Coatimundi Middle School both schedule blood drives regularly in the fall and spring with an occasional drive in the winter. The schools are encouraging the Red Cross, who schedules the dates,  to consider spreading them out because, as Claudia St. Clair, the CTMS NJHS coordinating teacher put it, “we have a lot of wonderful people who would donate every eight weeks if scheduling worked that way”. 

The National Junior Honor Society teaches its young members five standards: leadership, citizenship, character, service, and scholarship. Volunteering for the blood drive satisfies many of these focal points. Participating students help as registrars, escorts, canteen workers, encouragers, and most importantly, to make donors feel appreciated. The appreciation comes full circle because so many of the donors express appreciation for the students’ service. “It really is nice to see the mutual respect and caring,” said St. Clair. NJHS student Leah Hetherington said, “I worked at registration so I worked at just starting conversations with people who are waiting to donate their blood.”

In preparation for the most recent January drive, students worked in organized tag teams, calling members of the community and scheduling appointments. The classroom was buzzing with activity while students worked after school on their call list for two afternoons. At the end of the second day they had 52 appointments secured. Of those 52, 36 were able to keep their appointments, they received 8 walk-in donations, and four power red donors, which resulted in a total collection of 44 pints. St. Clair commented, “Nine of the donors were first-time givers. That is exceptional!” In her recollection, this was the best turnout since she became a sponsor 5 years ago. Many of the students are return volunteers as well and seem to enjoy the intrinsic pride of helping others, working to close the gap between a genuine need and the right resource.

St. Clair has noticed that these students are determined and therefore successful. Participating students must keep their own academic excellence and manage trustworthy reputations among their peers and staff members. They understand the impact of their efforts on the lives of strangers. They also know that the blood they help collect may save the life of someone they know. “I helped at the blood drive because it’s an amazing experience to learn how many people are being served – and I just generally like helping as well,” said David Jauregui. Another student volunteer, Tiziano Coil, said, “I just love to learn and to help people in any way I can.” 

The students host the blood drives because they know it is the right thing to do to make our community a great place to live. Two of the student volunteers were inspired to volunteer because of a career interest in being a doctor. “The blood drive has taught me responsibility and it’s fun to know how many lives are being saved,” said Isabella Cabrera. Camila Fonseca seconded the passion saying, “I can help and understand how this works and this is my last year in middle school to volunteer.” St. Clair finished by saying, “They do it because they have a stake in the future here and because they are just wonderful young people”.