Blood Drive – Saving Lives 1 Pint at a Time

With many students spending their 3-day weekend with noticeably wrapped elbows and less blood than usual, you may have wondered what took place within Highland’s campus on the 17th of February.  There is no cause for concern – last Friday was Highland’s first blood drive since 2020, and it took place over the entire school day. Students made their way to the Activities and Athletics Office, then to the patio behind the library where Houchin blood trucks were stationed nearby as students and teachers of all blood types were welcomed for their donations! 

Although some were not granted this honor due to injuries, low iron, fever, or low blood pressure/hemoglobin levels, this didn’t stop them from nabbing a free t-shirt! Houchin was kind enough to give even those they had to turn away during the screening process a little piece of memorabilia.

First, donors checked in at the Activities and Athletics Office. Then, they entered the Library where they filled out a questionnaire and read an educational packet! 

Post-donation, students were required to stay seated under the supervision of staff. Here, students were provided with snacks (string cheese, Smucker’s Uncrustables, and cookies) and accommodated well throughout the entire process. They were also encouraged to take plenty of water.

ASB assisting Houchin by providing snacks and water!

The donation process itself was rather short, with the extraction of one pint of blood only taking 8-10 minutes! After finishing up their juice, students were given another chance to take some more delicious complimentary snacks from the cafeteria to help them recover. There were also fancier hors d’oeuvres like apple juice, Circus Animals, and sandwich crackers! Jas C. remarked that the donors were, “Treated like royalty!”

Houchin staff welcome students with friendly smiles~

With this in mind, let’s see if Ariana Enriquez, ASB Commissioner of Service Projects, can provide us with more of the event’s bloody details.


INT: Approximately how many students signed up to donate blood this year?

ARIANNA: About 85!

INT: Including teachers?

ARIANNA: Oh, not including teachers! We don’t know how many teachers signed up, but a good amount did – like Mrs. Karlen!

INT: Do you recall any other blood drives? Is this your first one?

ARIANNA: Yes! I know Highland has done it in the past, but since COVID, we haven’t been able to do it for some years. I do know my freshman year they did a blood drive, but they did not do one in 2021 or 2022. 

INT: Oh! So this is a re-debut. Did you donate during freshman year?

ARIANNA: Ah I was too young – I couldn’t!

INT: Apart from receiving a free t-shirt and pizza, why would students donate blood?

ARIANNA: In order to help people who really need blood! Like, those who are in severe condition. By donating your blood, you can save up to three lives! Like, just you – one person on your own!

INT: With one pint?

ARIANNA: Yes! With one pint!

INT: How much does blood type matter in donation? Are there any special blood types and how does one figure out what blood type they are?

ARIANNA: There are different blood types. For example, there are universal ones [like O- and AB+]! Or, there are even people who need a specific blood type when receiving blood, so that’s why it’s important for everyone to get blood drawn because there’s ALWAYS someone out there who has your type!

INT: How much blood is a student allowed to donate?

ARIANNA: I’m pretty sure it’s a pint!

INT: How do you handle students who faint or don’t take blood donations well?

ARIANNA: We make sure they stay hydrated and eat before and even after because we recognize that it’s a lot on your body to take blood out. Students need to get rest – especially those in sports, they cannot do any sports that day! 

INT: So, what do they do with the students who faint?

ARIANNA: So, Houchin has all students wait in the truck and sit for ten minutes to make sure that they’re okay right after taking blood. So, if anything happens, it will be in the truck where professionals can assess and handle the situation.

The blood truck!

INT: How can students prep before blood donation?

ARIANNA: So, I would say that prepping starts the day before! You’re making sure you’re drinking your water, you’re eating right, and let that carry on to the next day. Drink water – eat a very good breakfast!

INT: Did you donate?

ARIANNA: Ah, I didn’t qualify!

INT: Oh! Do you know any donors who did donate?

ARIANNA: Yes! There are a lot of people I know who did donate! For example, our Commissioner of School Spirit, Ava, was barely on the brink of qualifying, but she did EVERYTHING in her power to donate! Which is good and so admirable. 

Yes, since I wasn’t able to donate I’m glad I was able to help organize. It was a lot of hours of paperwork I did, but it was really worth it!

INT: Would you recommend your position to other people?

ARIANNA: Yes! But, just know it was a lot of work–

INT: Could you provide examples?

ARIANNA: Yes, I was making call slips, alphabetizing all the papers, and coordinating with Houchin. It was crazy! I’m thankful to say I had help! 

INT: Is there anything you’d like to wrap up with?

ARIANNA: Thank you to those of you who donated blood! Even if you couldn’t donate this time, please keep an eye out for the next time Highland can put something like this on!

In the end, the blood drive was a roaring success with several students and staff coming out in support of the community and the people who need blood most. Post-blood drive, Houchin followed up with students with a thank you letter and an analysis of the student’s blood type. Throughout the day, students bragged about their own type and learned about the other types out there as they compared compatibility.

Next time there’s a drive, be sure to sign up! Until then, if you’re interested in how to donate blood in the future, eligibility, and to make an appointment on your own, be sure to visit or call the Houchin Community Blood Bank at their Oswell Donor Center (2671 Oswell St, Ste C, Bakersfield, CA 93306, (661) 323-4222) or take a look on their website at

Written by: David Delano

Reported by: Cazandra Manuel

Photographed by: Devin Conston

Edited by: Valerie Ruiz

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