By MARIA PANTOJA/South Kern Sol
Anxiousness with a mixture of fear filled the Arvin High School library on March 2.
It was caused by the Houchin Community Blood Bank hosted blood drive. It’s the last one of the school year. Houchin staff, Arvin High Health Careers Advisor Ben Keller, and nine students helped organize the event. The blood drive lasted from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
This was second time Gabriela Rodriguez, 16, donated blood.
“I feel great!” she said, enthusiastically. “No (nervousness for me) because I already know what to expect. It is a fast and simple way to donate.”
About a 150 people were able donate blood. Houchin staff asked donors to fill out a personal questionnaire. Afterward, they checked the potential donors were checked for their iron levels. If the donor had a low iron level, they were not allowed to donate.
“Many students signed up to donate, but were turned down because of their iron level,” said Karen Vazquez, 16.
After the mini physical, students were encouraged to drink water before the donation, in order to keep the blood pressure up. Then the alarming moment arrived – the blood donation. Many students dreaded the needle the most.
Arvin High Sophomore Jesus Garcia, 16, braved his dislike of needles to help others.
“The most scariest part of donating was to look at them inserting needle,” said Garcia. “I feel happy to donate to the people, who need my blood.”
Garcia is planning to donate again next year.
After the donation, each student was offered refreshments and advised to rest a couple of minutes.
Vazquez, who’s a junior at Arvin High said she feels more students will donate blood in the future.
“I think many (more) students will donate,” said Vazquez. “I think if we had more time we would have had many more students donate.”
For all the students who could not donate this year, Houchin Community Blood Bank will be back next school year.