Southwest is holding a blood drive on Sept. 23 starting at 8:30 am. Students can schedule a time to donate. The blood drive is affiliated with the Nebraska Community Blood Bank and organized by teacher Mark Watt, who has organized every blood drive the school has ever had. Students can pick up forms in the main office to sign up, and once the form is completed students can turn them into the main office or Mr. Watt. To adapt to the Covid era, students will donate blood in a mobile donation center in the back of the school.
“I’ve set up every blood drive this school has ever had because years ago I worked at a company as their wellness coordinator,” Watt said. “I did well with it so I decided to do it here too.”
Regardless of students’ ages, LPS requires a parental consent form to donate blood. If a student is 16, the Nebraska Community Blood Bank requires a signed form. Students under 16 cannot donate. Students must weigh at least 110 pounds, and female students have additional requirements based on height and weight.
“I know that it helps a lot of people,” senior Gabriela Chairez said. “It’s a good thing to do. It’s not hard or anything, so it’s just a pretty simple way to help people.”
Students should be free of antibiotics 24 hours before donating and symptom-free for at least 72 hours after getting a cold or the flu. Students who have had a positive Covid test, shown symptoms of Covid in the last 14 days, or are currently quarantining cannot donate.
The school is given a goal of how many students it needs to recruit, typically around 30. For every unit of blood collected the school will receive $10. At the end of the year, once the total is calculated, the money raised will be distributed to deserving seniors, for college expenses.