Give Blood, Save Three Lives: Leo Club Holds December Blood Drive


Valentina Arias

A blood donor patiently waiting to get their blood drawn during the second blood drive of the 2021–2022 school year at Miami Palmetto Senior High School.

Valentina Arias, Multimedia Photo Editor

This December, Leo Club hosted its second blood drive at Miami Palmetto Senior High School. They have done an extraordinary amount of blood drives throughout past school years, and they plan on doing the same this year. 

Leo Club organizes blood drives every other month. It is a two-day event sponsored by OneBlood, where students can donate one pint of blood and platelets. The club hosts many blood drives throughout the year. So far, this is their second blood drive of the 2021-2022 school year. They plan out all of their blood drives and separate them far enough apart so that those who donated in the past blood drive can still donate in the next blood drives. Students who participate may receive five community service hours if they donate platelets, plasma and double red blood cells they receive more. Donors also receive free drinks, chips, pizza and a blanket. 

“Blood is extremely important as you know blood not only goes to those with cancer, those in car accidents but also those with COVID-19,” Palmetto Leo Club President and Palmetto senior Nadya Young said. “COVID-19 struck us as a big pandemic and hurt our community so when people do donate their platelets and donate their blood it’s actually used for recovering COVID-19 patients.”

Students must be 17 years or older to donate, and those who are 17 must receive parent permission via a signed form. On the form, students select which class they want to miss for the blood drawing process. Students report to their class, and then, one of the Leo Club members heads to their class and takes them to the school’s gymnasium, which is where the blood drive is held. 

When they arrive at the gym, they have their temperature checked and must fill out paperwork before they begin the process of donating. Once complete, they receive a health check to make sure they are healthy enough to donate. If they are approved, they are then connected to a machine that draws the blood. During the process, they are given something to drink. It takes around one whole period to draw one pint of blood from the person who donates, and even longer if they decide they want to donate platelets, plasma or double red blood cells as well. After donating, the student goes back to class and waits for second lunch to commence so they can receive their free pizza. 

“They handled everything pretty well and it was pretty quick,” Palmetto junior and blood and platelet donor Jonathan Newman said. “It was pretty efficient, I didn’t have any problems. You know they were very hospitable and they kept asking me if everything was good and if I felt okay.”

Leo Club had a great turnout this month with approximately 100+ blood donations. They plan on having their next blood drive in early February 2022, but more details will be announced soon. 

“[By donating a pint of blood] it saves three lives and that’s a big thing,” Palmetto junior and Leo Club Secretary Brooke Glover said.