MHS First Blood Drive with COVID-19

Photo+Courtesy%3A+Stephanie+Grande-Misaki

Photo Courtesy: Stephanie Grande-Misaki

Ellie Kim, Copy Editor

     Like many school activities and clubs, Mililani High School’s first blood drive of the school year had to be modified in order to adhere to COVID-19 guidelines. It took place on November 21, 2020 from 7:30 am to 4:30 pm at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints near MHS.

     “The blood drive that was just held was, in fact, the state’s first ever virtually-prepped high school drive. All committee meetings were held online, and our advertising was completely virtual as well. It was also off campus, although we’d normally have it on campus. Nonetheless, it goes to show that even in times of crises, high school blood drives are still possible,” said Blood Drive Co-Chairperson senior Andrew Kim.

     In past years, a bloodmobile was parked at MHS where students went in throughout the school day to donate. This year, the bloodmobile was not possible because people are not able to maintain social distancing in the mobile. So the blood drive was held off campus at the church, which had air conditioning. This helped cool down donors when it came to reactions such as lightheadedness. The amount of people that could draw blood at a time was also reduced from five to two in order to maintain social distancing. 

     Mililani’s PTSO donated snacks to replace the normal pre-made food from the culinary classes. The snacks varied from water to juice, along with chips and granola bars to help students who might have felt lightheaded. People lose iron after donating a pint of blood, which helps transport oxygen throughout the body. Consuming iron-rich foods helps to restore the amount people would’ve had before donating blood. They were distributed through people who had hourly shifts.

     “So we would have prepared food for our donors, so if they didn’t eat, they would have a meal. And then after they donated, we also had food prepared by the culinary classes. But because of COVID, we couldn’t provide pre-made-we couldn’t provide pre-made food like that because everything had to be prepackaged. So that was limiting,” said MHS’s Blood Drive and Committee Advisor Stephanie Grande-Misaki.

     Before donating, students had to fill out a questionnaire that inquired about their health and medical problems. Since the pandemic, the questionnaire now asked new questions that weren’t there before. According to Blood Drive Co-Chairperson junior Christian Ross, the new questions asked if the donors had traveled anywhere for at least a week and if there were any positive COVID tests. 

     While planning the blood drive, the MHS Blood Drive Committee  shifted their advertising methods. Due to online learning, the usual promotional posters would not be effective as it would be in previous years.. 

     “This year, many options (such as putting up posters around the school) were unavailable due to the virtual nature. We still made posts/flyers to be posted on the official MHS Instagrams, and the committee created recruitment videos to be posted on the morning bulletin. The committee members also individually recruited people by trying to inform the people around them and posting on their personal Instagrams,” said Kim.

     MHS received 51 pints of blood from their donors. Their goal for that day was 40 pints.

     For more information about upcoming MHS blood drives, visit the Class of 2021’s  Instagram account @mililani.2021, the senior class email, [email protected], or the MHS morning bulletin. For any questions, comments, or concerns regarding the MHS blood drive, email [email protected]