Saving Lives, 1 Pint at a Time

Fallon Carney , Staff Editor

Junior Ella OBrian patiently waits for her blood to be drawn during the Carterville High School’s annual blood drive.

On March 23, 2022, Carterville High School sponsored the annual American Red Cross Blood Drive for the community. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, donor blood has become more crucial than ever. During the 2020 lockdown, the American Red Cross was not able to conduct blood drives nearly as much as they would a normal year. Without the collection of blood regularly, the American Red Cross’ blood supply quickly became low.

The American Red Cross’ mission is to prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors. Without being able to be in contact with donors, the American Red Cross was struggling to find a way to receive blood. 

Nurse Wendi Johnson was very pleased with how this year’s annual blood drive went, “while our numbers were lower this year than in the past, it is important to remember that each blood donation can save up to 3 lives. I am excited to say that we collected 42 units of blood.”

Now that the coronavirus pandemic has substantially gone down, the American Red Cross is now able to get back out into the communities to hold blood drives for generous donors. CHS students and staff had the opportunity to donate if they wished to. Members of the Student Leadership Council also helped to staff the event by passing out snacks and drinks, as well as T-Shirts after donor appointments.

Many students, including junior Jessalynn Ballard, participated in the blood drive both as a donor and volunteer. Ballard stated, “when I got there to actually do it, I realized I could be potentially saving three lives and all I had to do was sit there for a few minutes. It made me happy to know that I could help and I’m glad I did.” 

After the blood is collected, it is tested and stored at the American Red Cross. From there, the blood is transported to hospitals whenever it is needed. The American Red Cross operates 24 hours a day, in order to get blood to any hospital at any time. 

Senior Sam Snyder said his experience donating went very well, “It was my first time ever donating blood so I was, I would say, reasonably nervous.  But it was really easy and went well, so I am really glad I did it.” Snyder also remarked that he chose to donate due to the blood shortage as well. 

Donated blood is used for a variety of different reasons. Generally, the blood that has been donated is used for sick or injured individuals in the hospitals. Blood transfusions are also very commonly used with the donated blood. Trauma patients, sickle cell patients, burn patients, cancer patients, and patients with chronic diseases are also in need of blood. 

Sophomore Andrew DeFord made his decision to donate after he learned that one full blood donation can save up to three lives, “I wanted to try and help someone through my donation during the nationwide shortage.”

Hosting blood drives help the American Red Cross ensure that they will have blood for hospitals whenever it is needed. To set up an appointment to donate, visit