Blood drive could use more donors

What have you done with your high school career? Senior Ben Wu has saved 21 lives, and he did it all while sitting in a comfortable chair. How has he achieved this miraculous feat? Wu is a blood donor. “It’s important to me because it makes me feel important and feel good about myself knowing that I save 3 lives every time I donate,” Wu said. “Also, my grandfather always donated blood and put others in front of himself. I’ve always wanted to be just like him.” Twice a year, Ames High hosts a blood drive in the gymnasium that is open to students, staff, and the public alike. This fall, the blood drive is scheduled for Friday, November 2nd. Participants have the opportunity to give a piece of themselves by donating double red (2 pints) or whole blood (1 pint). “I first donated at the fall blood drive sophomore year. It’s something I can do and a way I can help others. 38% of Americans can donate and less than 10% do, so I feel like I need to,” Wu said. Students can sign up for the blood drive in the main lobby or with Mrs. Micalone in room 15. To be eligible to donate, 16 and 17 year-old students must have their parents sign a permission form and turn this form into the office. Also, students must weigh at least 120 pounds to donate whole red or 140 pounds to donate double red. The process of giving blood only takes about 20 minutes, and according to Wu, is mostly pain-free. “It doesn’t really hurt. If you put too much weight on your arm, it does a little. But usually not at all. The needle is relatively small,” Wu said. “Donating double-red is pretty cool too, the needle is even smaller. Then there’s a weird chill that hits you and a weird taste in your mouth. Try it out!” There are also several perks to being a donor, including free snacks and t-shirts. “It’s pretty chill and the ladies are super nice to you. I personally enjoy the oreos. But sometimes there are Teddy Grahams. OJ is the best part, though,” Wu said. “Also, I have 4 t-shirts so far. There is other free stuff on the online store!” Wu encourages his fellow classmates to serve their community by donating blood on Friday, November 2nd. Sign-up in the main lobby will be available from Thursday, October 25th to Thursday, November 1st. “Since it’s cancer month, I think as Ames High Little Cyclones we can dominate cancer by giving blood to those in need,” Wu said. “Stay classy, save lives and give blood.”