NHS pleased with blood drive’s large turnout

Ruimin Lin, Staff Writer

The Moanalua High School National Honor Society (NHS) exceeded its own expectations at this week’s blood drive in support of the Blood Bank of Hawaii (BBH). 

The school surpassed its goal of collecting 80 pints of blood. There were 119 scheduled appointments and 103 registered donors, 50 of whom were first-time donors. 

This year’s drive was held in the library this past Monday.  NHS vice presidents Jezelle Guitap and Jade Chan worked together to organize the event, with help from the members and school community. 

“I felt pretty excited to plan such a big event,” Chan said. “Working with Jezelle and the other NHS [members] was such a fun time.” 

NHS adviser Noel Kerr was also pleased with the numbers.

“We only had 10 people who were no-shows,” she said.

“The nurses were really nice and were good at keeping me calm when sticking the needle in,” junior Joseph Barroga said. 

Traci Takehara, donor recruitment account manager at BBH, manages several lifesaver clubs, such as the chapter at Moanalua High School. 

“For the first time in a decade…we are having a national blood shortage crisis,” Takehara said. “Normally, we tell people we’re in critical need. . . but this is actually called a crisis.”

Typically, the BBH has enough blood to last three days but recently, due to the shortage, that has become impossible. BBH has requested backup blood from blood banks in the continental United States.  A nationwide shortage, however, means Hawaii bank is unable to secure blood from the other banks.

“We really have no one to rely on except local donors. So we really count on lifesaver clubs like the one here at Moanalua High School to really sustain our blood supply because we have no one to reach out to,” Takehara said. 

Donating blood only takes about ten minutes and one donation can save up to three lives. However, there are restrictions. Donors must be 16 or older.  Male students must weigh 110 or higher while female donors have more strict weight requirements depending on their height. More information can be found on the BBH’s official website

Several BBHs around the island are open seven days a week and are accepting donors. 

“Lifesaver Club blood drives like yours are truly holding us up during this critical time,” Takehara said later through an email.