KETTERING, Ohio – Archbishop Alter High School donors at the Nov. 7 “Unity Blood Drive” were happy to help with the fourth annual Community Blood Center/Universal 1 Unity in the Community campaign. The blood drive part of the campaign is now complete and the next step is for the Knights to finalize the recipient of the Unity Award.
“Unity in the Community” is a partnership between Archbishop Alter and Fairmont High Schools, CBC and Universal 1 Credit Union. Both schools host fall blood drives and jointly present a $1,000 award sponsored by Universal 1 to a designated charity during halftime of the Alter-Fairmont basketball game.
Alter’s Unity Blood drive went smoothly, completing 100 percent of the collection goal with the help of 69 donors, including 34 first-time donors, and resulting in 58 donations.
The schools take turns identifying a charity they feel is most deserving of the award. Alter will choose this year’s recipient. The student sponsor organization for Alter blood drives is the CURE club, a cancer research advocacy and support group. CURE President Jessie Haaker said the club and Alter blood drive coordinator and school nurse Jeanne Kernan are considering a diabetes support organization.
“Mrs. Kernan’s son has diabetes and my father has it,” said Jessie. “It’s something we volunteer for and support.” The $1,000 Unity Award would help with education classes, a summer camp and low-cost medical supplies for families in need.
“Sometimes it hits families who can’t afford to take care of it,” said Jesse.
The first step in this year’s Unity Campaign was supporting the blood drive. Junior Zoe Bishop made her first lifetime donation Wednesday. “I thought it was a good cause and that I should do it,” she said. “I was nervous at first but I’m fine now.”
Junior Peter Schimpf also made his first lifetime donation. “My family donates blood,” said Peter. “They race to see who is the fastest! My father donates in about five or six minutes and my sister in about seven!”
Seniors Nicoletta Anuci and Morgan Cruset both made their third lifetime donations at the Unity Blood Drive, qualifying for CBC’s Red Cord Honor Program. As upperclassmen and experienced donors, they are very familiar with the Unity Campaign. They say the rivals remain competitors, but in Unity have a common ground.
“It’s one time when everybody works together to help a cause,” Nicolletta said about the joint effort with rival Fairmont. “It brings everyone closer,” said Morgan.
Friday’s fall blood drive totaled 156 donors, including 72 first-time donors and 126 blood donations. It’s the first step in the 2018-2018 Unity Campaign that will include Alter’s fall blood drive on Nov. 7.
Fairmont and Alter’s 2017 Unity blood drives totaled 268 donors, including 131 first-time donors and 217 blood donations. Fairmont chose Camp Kesem as the $1,000 Unity award recipient, a summer camp and peer support program for children with family members fighting cancer.