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The Student News Site of Santa Maria High School

The Breeze

The Student News Site of Santa Maria High School

The Breeze

The Student News Site of Santa Maria High School

The Breeze

Get your blood flowing at the Key Club Annual Blood Drive

On Thursday, March 21st, 2024, there were 30 individuals scheduled to donate blood in SMHS.
Get+your+blood+flowing+at+the+Key+Club+Annual+Blood+Drive
Mrs. van den Heever (Mrs. van D)

The SMHS Key Club organized an event in which a Vitalant Bus was parked in front of the Cafeteria with appointments from 9:30 am to 3:00 pm with students and staff donating 500 mL of blood each.

Walking up to the bus you are instructed to sign in where you are asked for your name, time of appointment, and blood type (if applicable). Before donating blood it is crucial to have eaten breakfast and drink plenty of water.

When walking inside the bus you are sat down in a room in which you are interviewed and answer questions of whether or not you are able  to donate blood. There are questions about AIDS, Hepatitis, and previous donations. They also advise you to read a packet with information about blood donation.

After the interview process you are sat down on a blood donation chair and are instructed to extend your arm to be searched for a firm vein. Once the vein is found, they rub an alcohol solution on your forearm for 30 seconds and naturally sit and dry. You are then taped some tubes that lead to a pint sized bag and a blood. After that you are advised to look away as they stick a needle in your vein to begin the blood donation process. To continue the flow of your blood, they hand you a squishy to squeeze in a “one, two, cha cha cha” pattern.

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After getting a pint of your blood taken out of you, they apply pressure to the opening and place a bandage around your arm with a color of your choice. They advise you to stay rest for about 1o minutes. The staff provides you with snacks and water.

Stephanie Guerrero, A senior at SMHS who donated blood that morning states, “After having done a test to know if I was eligible for the blood donation, I felt excited, but I was still quite nervous. Thankfully, the nurses were very respectful as they showed us the process, made sure we felt good, but also made jokes to help me ease the nerves. This was a wonderful experience, and I would love to donate soon!” The test Stephanie is referring to is one of the staff members taking a small sample of your blood to check your hemoglobin level.

Sean, a Vitalant employee, explaining the blood donation process to Stephani Guerrero. (Mrs. van den Heever (Mrs. van D))

Mrs. Lombardi-Hyder, the advisor for Key Club in SMHS stated in an email, “Key Club would like to say thank you to all staff and students for your support during our blood drive this year.  If you donated, allowed students to leave class to donate, or were otherwise inconvenienced due to the blood drive, thank you.  Vitalant collected enough blood to save 105 lives!  That is the most we have collected in many years.  Thank you again!”

In a later interview, Mrs. Lombardi-Hyder also added, “We had record sign ups with more students wanting to donate than we had room for. Key club has hosted this every year in the spring for the past 10 years.”

My personal experience at the blood drive was great. I was attended to quickly by Sean and placed inside a booth with Zack to answer some questions about my health. I was asked what music I would like to play, I simply showed him my shirt and he played some Pink Floyd. Overall, it was a nice experience mainly because I didn’t feel too nervous about the whole thing. Sean said that my blood pumped out pretty quickly, in a whopping 4 minutes and 27 seconds (According to him the fastest someone has had a pint taken out of them was 4 minutes and 9 seconds in Monterey). Mrs. Van D told me to choose the red colored band but I chose the purple one in defiance to her. I left at break with plenty of water and snacks in my bag for throughout the day.

I logged on to the Vitalant website a few days later and found out I have a blood type of A+. 34 out of 100 people have an A+ blood type and can donate to people with A+ and AB+. I would definitely donate blood again.

You can learn more about how you can donate blood at Vitalant.org or visit the local Vitalant Blood donation center located at 1770 S Broadway, Santa Maria, CA, 93454. Schedule an appointment there here.

Vitalant Donation Center here in Santa Maria open all week long.
Photo credits to Vitalant.org (Oswaldo Hernandez-Perez)

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About the Contributors
Oswaldo Hernandez-Perez
Hey! My name is Oswaldo Hernandez-Perez, but you can call me Waldo. This is my last year at Santa Maria High School as I am now a senior. I enjoy listening to music and filming my friends skating on my free time. I haven't written anything too promising lately, but I am excited to write a lot about our community and school this year. I feel confident that I will be able to contribute to the breeze in a helpful manner. I have experience in filming and I would love to interview people about their thoughts on our community. I am currently taking journalism because I am interested in writing stories and informing others on news and whatnot. I feel honored to be a part of The Breeze this year. I appreciate Mrs. Van D for giving me a third chance to one of her many classes lmao.  
Mrs. van den Heever (Mrs. van D)
My name is Tina van den Heever, and I am the adviser for journalism here at SMHS. The 2023/24 school year is  my 13th year at SMHS, and I this is my third immersed year in Journalism.  My class will be working on getting our website fleshed out and current, along with incorporating multi-media technology.  WATCH THIS SPACE! On a personal note: I'm the mother of two children, Christian, who is 30 and lives in Denver, and Adria, who is 24 and lives in Long Beach.  I also have a 19 year-old stepson Shaun, who is living in Arkansas.  I'm married and live in Santa Maria.  I currently teach English 10 Honors, ERWC 12, and journalism. In my spare time (LOL) I enjoy home improvement projects, reading, hiking, traveling, and sleeping.  :)  We have a sweet dog, Abbie, at home who demands that we walk her and take her to the dog beach so she can live her best life.  We also have a cat, Lola, who's 18 and beast mode. Next up for me: Japan for Spring Break, 2024! Wanna go too?  Ask me about it! I'm in room 121.
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