O’Neill Advisory Blood Drive Coverage on April 27

On Thursday, April 27, the O’Neill Advisory hosted their annual Blood Drive partnered with the New York Blood Center. After preparing for weeks, they hosted the blood drive in the Multi-Purpose Room. Donors who had signed up online or in person came throughout the day to donate, which took  around 1 class period. 

All donors spoken to for this article mentioned that their experience was very positive, “It was my first time [donating] and I’m glad I could help someone out, it was very efficient and quicker than I thought it would be, I enjoyed my cranberry juice after that. I’m still a little tired, I feel more tired than I usually do. It was quick and easy, I would do it again, I’m looking forward to doing it next year” said a current junior at Millennium, Amanda Chen. Another student, Fiona Chuong, said that her experience was similar, “Getting the blood taken was surprisingly fast but the waiting felt slow, although I did have some initial issues with my application. It was honestly pretty nice, and I’d do it again next year,” Fiona acknowledged that a few people mentioned feeling bad after giving blood but she said that “I honestly felt better than I ever have in the past few months, but I know my friend’s arm bruised.” 

Teachers and students alike donated blood, while teachers got priority in the line. The blood drive accepted walk-ins if there was time and they had permission forms. Students 17 and up did not need to bring in parental consent forms but sophomores age 16 did. A current teacher at Millennium, Mr. Kline said that it was a “good experience, smooth and easy. I’d do it again next year, I think it was a wonderful event and great for the community.”

Many voiced different concerns, a popular one being over the fear of needles and sanitation. A current sophomore at Millennium, Lorelai Aylward-Pigott, said that “[the anticipation] was rough, but the needles weren’t as bad as I had thought and it was pretty quick, but it was a little stressful.” Additionally, there was no need for any concern over the sanitation during the blood drive, as it says in the New York City Blood Center’s donation process “All materials, including the needle used for your donation, are new, sterile, disposable, and used only once by you for your blood donation. There is no risk of any disease transmission to a donor.” 

This year was the first blood drive for O’Neill’s current advisory, and the first drive since COVID-19, so many people outside of the advisory were hesitant when asked to donate. However, Mr. O’Neill said that, “I think it went really great! It was our first year since Covid and no one in the building had been through the blood drive and this year’s advisory’s first time running it!” He explained that this advisory was learning about the process of setting up a school-wide blood drive to be able to run it in the future. He mentions that, “there were a lot of unknowns and we surpassed our goal and almost set the all time record for the amount of donors. I was very impressed with my advisory. There have been years when [advisory members] don’t show up but everyone did this year, I’m very impressed and very thankful!”