By Jacob Sturm
Students from Mustang High School gave blood on Wednesday, Feb. 8 and helped out the Oklahoma Blood Institute in the process.
OBI representative Shannon Hogan mentioned the importance of the participation students at high schools like Mustang show.
“High Schools are a huge part of our blood donation system,” Hogan said. “About 25% of our blood supply comes from high school donors.”
In the past, OBI has worked with the ROTC. Wednesday’s drive had been turned over to the Mustang Key Club.
Hogan emphasized the education side of the blood drives at the school currently happening.
“They are working very hard on doing all the right things, recruiting donors and getting their population educated,” Hogan said. “…Really at this point, we’re trying to build the education side of things.”
Due to the snow storm in the past few weeks, OBI had to reschedule their planned visit to the high school and ended up with Feb. 8. That slowed the numbers down a bit for OBI while they had to wait for the rescheduled date to arrive.
The weather did more than just cause a schedule change. In fact, OBI had a blood emergency after multiple weeks of cancelations as people stayed warm and worked from home during a planned blood drive one week and then saw the schools close for weather on another occasion.
Emma Meyer, another OBI representative, also mentioned the impact of those cancelations.
“That really is what impacted and kind of put us into that blood emergency of less than two days’ supply, which is always kind of scary,” Meyer said.
OBI also made an appearance in Mustang on Feb. 14 for the Mustang community blood drive. The event was held in the Mustang Community Center and had assistance from the American Legion Post 353.
They have also worked with the Mustang School District at least since 2005. OBI also has a high school blood drive championship, where all the schools across the state are divided into their basketball divisions. Yukon High School was the 6A champion this past year.
“We’re so thankful for the partnership we have with the Mustang community and the Mustang school system over the years to ensure that our community blood supply stays strong now and in the future,” Meyer said.
A blood donation can save up to three lives. About 1,200 donors are needed every day for OBI to keep up with the blood supply and ensure hospitals have everything they need.
Students under the age of 18 are required to have a permission slip to give blood in Mustang. OBI also has an honor cord program where students who donate blood six times before May 1 of their graduating year receive a certificate and a green honor cord from OBI. Those interested can fill out an enrollment form for the program on the obi.org website.