Give Blood, Give Life: The Highlights of Emery’s Fall Blood Drive
Not even three weeks into the school year the Steiner Board Room was already bustling with donors, volunteers, and nurses all eager to make a difference in the Fall Blood Drive, the very essence of volunteering at the Emery/Weiner School. As students, parents, and faculty alike flocked to the entrance, the Emery community was at its tightest, with donors of all ages and backgrounds bonded by their purpose of giving for the greater good of Houston.
The Blood Drive, run by student volunteers, worked quickly and efficiently, with donors signing in at the welcome table, scanning the QR code for registration, filling out the personal questionnaire, and cycling into donation chairs in a timely manner. Nurses assisted each donor with bright smiles and gentle hands, some volunteers sending “runners” out to fetch donors from the registration list, and others manning the hydration station for snacks and water post-donation.
The volunteers’ assembly line system split the responsibilities of registration, preparation, and post-care between multiple groups of students, creating well-organized stations that donors can rotate through in less than 20 minutes.
Everyone worked together to make this drive come to life, giving life with every pint. Thanks to weeks of planning, posters around campus, formal announcements, and an attractive set-up, the drive was able to rack up 23 pints in just a couple of hours, almost matching the school record of 25 pints from last year.
Although this biannual Emery tradition is only in its second year, the Emery Healthcare Around The World Club (Emery Healthcare ATW) has worked hard to spread the word about this student-run drive, taking over for the school administration on its own accord.
The club, which focuses on giving students health-related experience and learning opportunities, was founded in 2022 by juniors Hailey Sheena and Cora Lee, and their tireless efforts have sparked a rise in the popularity of blood drives at Emery; the school has now donated 65 pints of blood to The Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center, all thanks to the work of Emery Healthcare ATW.
“Cora and I just really wanted to be able to take part in the medical field and learn more about it,” Sheena summarized, in reference to the purpose of the club, “so we ended up taking things into our own hands.” Her partner, Lee, backed this up, adding that Emery Healthcare ATW has its sights set on “larger, more consistent volunteer opportunities every month” on top of the drives, such as “CPR training and guest speakers.” Overall, the founders are happy with the club’s progress and hope to keep the numbers rising with each new drive.
The club, with over 50 members and an 8-person board, has many plans for the coming year, including the Spring Blood Drive with a goal to keep beating school donation record. This objective is very much reachable, as the successes of the first few blood drives have spurred participation for a multitude of reasons. Seniors are promised a red cord at graduation for donating or volunteering at both drives and in the moment, passers-by are enticed to do a walk-in by the mouthwatering cookies displayed at the hydration station.
“I hadn’t done it before and I [thought I] might as well try something new,” Benji Berzin, a first-time donor, explained. Like many students, the constant announcements, encouragement from friends, and of course, the promise of some eye-catching desserts spurred him to give donating a try.
“Personally I felt pretty good that I was able to help the people who need my blood,” Berzin reflected, concluding that, “physically [he] felt completely fine” with nothing more than a sore arm for the price of a full heart.
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