Betas encourage Falcons to ‘Give the gift of life’


Oscar Kemp

Enjoying his downtime, Senior Trent Gauldin rests his arm after giving blood at the Beta Club's semi-annual drive. The October event was Gauldin's first time donating, joining 20 other students and staff in supporting the SOVAH blood center.

Autumn Turpin, Editor

On Jan. 29 the Galileo High School Beta Club hosted its second blood drive of the year in partnership with Sovah Health.

Donations were taken by the Sovah Blood Center through their mobile blood donation van, which supplies blood donation products throughout the Dan River region

A first-time donor, Senior Alexander Larking said he was nervous at first but knew it was for a good cause.

“Everything seemed a little intimidating. I was worried that I might have not eaten enough before or that something might go wrong,” Larking said. “But the attitude of the nurses reassured me that everything was going to go well. It’s kind of hard to believe that an action as simple and as painless as giving blood has the potential to save someone’s life.”

The Galileo Beta Club sponsors two blood drives each year, one in the fall semester, usually in October and one in the spring semester, usually in February. Anyone 16-years-of-age and older is eligible to donate, with those 16-years-old only needed  a parent permission form.

“Donating blood is important to me because it really is the gift of life like they say in the slogan, it could save someone thats really in need,” Special Education Teacher Vanessa Riddle said. “I have given blood to specific people before including my friends that were sick and that gave them a chance at life. They used to give out cards that would allow you to get blood at the hospital without paying if you were someone that had donated, which felt like the community giving back to you after you gave to it, which I thought was pretty cool.”

Riddle stressed the importance of participation by students who are eligible to give, as you never know when you or a loved one might be in need. According to the BNL Blood Drive Web site. 4.5 million Americans would die each year without life-saving blood transfusions. More than 32,000 pints of donated blood are used each day in the United States alone.

“About one pint of blood is taken from a person during donation so it really isn’t that much but it can make a huge difference for someone who needs it,” Beta Club Sponsor Leigh Walker said. “We had 21 people donate today, three each hour the bloodmobile was here and that is wonderful.

The club hopes to hold a third drive in April, hoping to make a difference in the local and nationwide deficit.

“You often hear people say that they want to make a difference, that they want to volunteer and that is great; this is one of the easiest ways you can do that,” Walker said. “It only takes a new minutes of your time, you get to relax and have a snack while you save a life. How rewarding is that?”