Chanute High School played host to a Red Cross blood drive Friday. The event took place inside the school’s gymnasium and was open to the public.
The importance of blood drives has been further accentuated during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Future Health Professionals (HOSA, formerly Health Occupations Students of America) sponsor Mandy Duling.
“Blood levels are super-low for Red Cross,” said Dueling, who along with fellow HOSA sponsor Tonya Frederick, oversaw the drive.
“So anybody that we can get to donate blood, that’s just exceptional at this point.”
CHS junior Linzie Dupuy was one of 71 who preregistered for the event. She was inspired to donate after her mother needed an emergency blood transfusion during pregnancy with her younger sister.
“One of the things we want to do for the high school level is get these kids to donate while they’re young,” Duling said. “So hopefully, they’ll be lifetime donors as well.”
Duling said she didn’t know the final tally of those who donated during the 8:30 am to 2:30 pm event. She noted that several students who preregistered were unable to donate due to illness. Additionally, the CHS wrestling team was out of town for a meet.
“Not all of those are successful donors, but we encourage everyone to try,” Duling said. “And if it’s successful for them, it’s just a bonus.”
Despite a slightly lower than expected turnout, Duling said she was pleased with the results, as well as the work from the Wichita-based traveling Red Cross team.
“The kids have done a great job this year, and we’re really proud,” she said. “We obviously would love to have more donors, but we will take what we can get at this point.”