ENGLEWOOD, OHIO – Thanksgiving week is truly the season of giving at the Miami Valley Career Technology Center. Many students are in training for careers in healthcare and they consider it a common cause to rally support for the annual Thanksgiving week blood drive.
MVCTC’s Tuesday, Nov. 20 blood drive boosted the Community Blood Center holiday blood supply by registering 206 donors for 122 percent of the collection goal. The 168 units donated was a 15 percent increase over last year’s fall blood drive, and the 101 first-time donors represented a 20 percent jump.
“Thanksgiving is a busy time when people need blood because so many people are traveling,” said blood drive coordinator Paula Wathen. “We always schedule it for this week, the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. It’s a yearly event for us.”
HOSA Future Health Professionals is the traditional student sponsor group for the blood drive. MVCTC hosts two blood drives during the school year and in 2017-2018 totaled 410 donors, including 150 first-time donors and 297 donations for 112 percent of collection goals.
Biotechnology Program instructor and HOSA advisor Erin Moden sees her lab converted into a bustling Donor Room for the blood drive with HOSA members serving as volunteers.
Pre-nursing student Eme Maxon from Milton-Union High School made her third lifetime donation Tuesday. “I want to be a pediatric nurse, she said. “I love children. I want to save lives. I’m O positive and saving a life always feels good.”
Miranda McClurg is a senior from Versailles High School in the MVCTC Allied Health Program and hopes to become a CareFlight nurse. She made her fourth lifetime donation Tuesday. She said part of her dedication comes from being a “Universal Donor.”
“I’m O negative, so I feel like I have to,” she said. “But I like donating too, the fact that I can help everyone.”
McKenzie Oehlerts, a junior from Tippecanoe High School, is a Health Occupation student and wants to be a surgeon someday. She made her second lifetime donation and said, “I’m an organ donor too.”
HOSA member Melina Valdivia was one of the 101 first-time donors at Tuesday’s blood drive. “I just like helping others out!” she said.
MVCTC received a CBC High School Leadership grant in 2015 for “Red Cord Excellence,” an indicator of strong student support at multiple blood drives. The class of 2015 had 96 graduates who qualified for the CBC Red Cord Honor Program by registering to donate at least three times during their high school career.