UNICEF Hosts Blood Drive to Give Back to the Community

By Shreya Selvaraju, Reporter

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  • The We Are Blood bus parked in the band practice parking lot.

  • Blood donors were given an appointment time to arrive at the We Are Blood bus. The process of donating blood ranged from 45 minutes to an hour.

  • Bianca Cureau ’22 poses in front of the bloodmobile after donating blood.

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On Friday, Dec. 10th, We Are Blood held a student blood drive in the band practice parking lot. The event was hosted by the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) club with the purpose of providing students the opportunity of giving back to the community.

In order to be eligible to donate blood, students must be over the age of 17 and weigh at least 115 pounds. Due to these limitations, for many students this was their first experience donating blood. 

“It’s my first time and I’m finally of age to do it,” blood donor Emily Ly ‘22 said. “I just feel like it’s cool to be like ‘Oh, I donated blood before’.”

One of the side effects after donating blood is feeling dizzy or faint.To aid students with the aftermath, student volunteers who were part of the UNICEF club escorted students back to class from the bloodmobile after donating blood. 

“We understand that not everyone at Westwood is old enough to donate blood, so we offered members that were too young to donate [the opportunity] to volunteer, so we can all still give back to the community,” UNICEF Club President Aidan Cheng ‘24 said.

Inside the We Are Blood bus, donors were asked screening questions to ensure eligibility. Afterward, students were asked to eat a snack to keep their blood sugar stable, before getting their blood drawn by a We Are Blood employee. 

“I really trust the whole process of it,” Ly said. “I’ve always wanted to know what it’s like [to donate blood].”

The blood drive also offered students the opportunity to learn more about how blood is drawn. 

“I really enjoyed talking to the [donors], ” UNICEF club member Eli Song ‘24 said. “It was nice to learn about [how blood is drawn].”

We Are Blood has more than 40 blood donating facilities over 10 counties in central Texas. As the only blood supplier in the area, We Are Blood depends on community donations. 

“High school student donors make up more than 12 percent of the We Are Blood donor population,” the organization said on their website. 

The blood drive gave students the opportunity to donate blood, learn about the process and help those that have donated, while providing others with blood. 

“It’s an amazing feeling being able to give something to the community,” Cheng said.