Blood Drive Club Saves Lives in Recent Donation Event

By Faith Gonia

Westmont’s first blood drive in two years did not collect donations in vein. 

Throughout the day on February 6, over 90 students and adults aspiring to give blood traveled to our campus cafeteria. There, the Westmont Blood Drive Club, partnered with Stanford Blood Center, warmly welcomed participants while conducting them through the donation process. To ensure they possessed no health abnormalities, prospective donors each went through a series of procedures which checked blood pressure, pulse, and hemoglobin levels. Once cleared, participants laid down, received a small needle prick, and waited ten minutes to fill a pint bag of blood. 

Surpassing their initial goal of 53 units, the Westmont Blood Drive Club achieved 132% of their target. With 70 units collected, members of the club absolutely have something to B positive about! 

General Board Member Marina Halbert spent the day running the blood drive with her fellow peers. Halbert expresses her gratitude for those who made the event possible.

“Without Mr. Haskett and the doctors and nurses of Stanford, we never could have had such a successful blood drive, and I am incredibly impressed with the students of Westmont who showed up to donate.” 

Halbert goes on to applaud the donors, some of whom struggled with a fear of needles.

“It was incredibly meaningful that they were willing to overcome their fears and give blood anyway.”

Halbert, a junior currently, has been a part of the Blood Drive Club during the whole of her high school career. 

“What initially drew me to the club was the potential of being surrounded by a community of people with similar aspirations to myself; I want to study medicine in college and beyond.” Halbert says. 

Furthermore, despite their tremendous success, the Blood Drive Club faced a major setback in organizing the event. For many years, students and faculty knew the Blood Drive Club as the Red Cross Club. Formerly, the club partnered with the American Red Cross; however, when the Red Cross canceled a scheduled blood drive date twice last fall, a change needed to be made.

Explains Westmont Blood Drive Club Advisor Chris Haskett: “That’s when the Amazing Izabella Genslak saved the day! Leaving her legacy at Westmont, Izabella connected our club with the Stanford Blood Center, our new partner, a move which not only initiated our successful blood drive in February, but also established our partnership for many, many successful blood drives in the future.” 

Haskett further expresses his immense appreciation for senior Genslak.

“Because of Izabella’s chutzpah, we did not sit around waiting for something good to happen; Izabella made good happen!” he exclaims. 

As the United States faces a fluctuating nationwide blood shortage, blood drives like that of the Blood Drive Club make a huge impact. Missed this winter’s drive, or looking to donate again? Westmont’s next blood drive will be held on Monday, September 18, 2023, from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in the cafeteria.