Giving the Gift of Life

November 01, 2005 | Jondelle McGhee

Give life. Give hope. Give blood. This is the motto of the Puget Sound Blood Center as it encourages community members to give blood. It is this same challenge that the students and faculty of Auburn Adventist Academy took on as they rolled up their sleeves to save lives. Sept. 22 marked the first school blood drive at AAA in almost seven years.

“Our goal was to get 50 people from the academy to donate blood,” said Kelly Kraus, AAA health services director and organizer of the blood drive. “In the end, we actually had 103 people sign up!”

Throughout the day a steady stream of students and faculty headed to the gymnasium, where the blood drive was being held. By the end of the blood drive, nearly one-third of the student body had participated. For a few, the motivation to give blood was aided by extra credit in class and the promise of cookies and juice afterward. However, most were motivated by the desire to make a difference in the community.

Senior student Sarah Higman, of Kent, Wash., was a first-time donor. “I don’t like needles, but it’s mind over matter,” she said. Though she felt apprehensive at first, she kept a smile on her face during the whole ordeal. Higman said, “There are many ways to help in the world, this is just one of them.”

Ashley Heilbrun, of Puyallup, Wash., and sophomore at AAA agreed. “I think giving blood is a good thing to do. It helps people who are in need and saves people’s lives.” Heilbrun, who was not able to give blood herself due to her age, plans on giving next year.

The blood given by Auburn Adventist Academy will stay in western Washington and serve more than 70 hospitals and clinics in the 14-county region.