INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.– Over 600 students at North Central High School raised their sleeves on Thursday to donate blood at the school’s annual blood drive.
The North Central High School senior class officers hosted the blood drive in the school’s gymnasium, led by senior class adviser, Leslie Decker.
Decker has hosted the blood drive for over 15 years. She participated in the drive when she was a student at NCHS.
“We keep getting more donors year after year,” Decker said. “I think the kids see my passion for it and I love to see kids doing really good things. This is about kids doing good for kids in the community.”
The annual blood drive is the largest one-day high school blood draw in the state of Indiana. Nearly 400 units of blood were collected, a new record for the blood drive.
For over 18 years, the North Central blood drive has averaged 400 students each year donating an average of 300 units of blood.
The Indiana Blood Center needs to see 550 donors every day to keep up with patient need. Dr. Charles Miraglie, the president of the Indiana Blood Center said there is an urgent need for O negative blood donors.
“If we always got this type of participation, we’d never have to worry about those scary times when the blood supply gets low,” Dr. Miraglie said.
Due to the widespread flu, fewer people are donating. Dr. Miraglie said donations are crucial.
“We only want healthy donors, the safety of our donors is paramount to us, so that takes out a bunch of our donors,” Dr. Miraglie said. “This urgent time when demand can go up in an urgent notice, tragedies around the country like yesterday, we need the O negative donors to keep the blood supply safe. Those are the units that go to people who don’t have a type yet, like trauma or victims.”
NCHS senior, Duncan McLarty is one of many students who organized the school’s blood drive. It was his second time participating, and first time working the event.
“It shows how people get over their fears of needles to roll up their sleeves because they know how important it is,” McLarty said. “We really stress the fact that they’re saving lives when they donate.”
To learn more about donating blood, click here.