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SHS blood drive saves lives, raises money for education

More than 95 people helped save local lives and raise money for SPS students Thursday by donating blood at a blood drive held at Springfield High School.

Organized by Bloodworks Northwest and SHS students who are involved in HOSA – Future Health Professionals Club, the blood drive fundraiser helps to pay for HOSA students to attend the Oregon Leadership Conference and the International Leadership Conference where students’ health occupations knowledge is tested through a written and clinical test.

The drive also benefits local patients in need of blood. For every person who donates, their blood can save up to three lives. Blood donated at the Thursday event also stays in Lane County to help local patients in need. 

"It's a small thing I can do to help out," said SHS senior Juan Padilla-Lopez. "It's not much, but sometimes it's all about the small things you can do to help others."

On Thursday morning, 98 people had signed up to give blood. Student volunteer Jadzia Engle said she expected that several more walk-in donors would help the group meet its goal of exceeding 100 donors. 

For every blood drive held at SHS and organized by HOSA, Bloodworks Northwest provides the school's HOSA Chapter with $500 for 50 registered donors, $750 for 75 registered donors and $1,000 for 100 registered donors.

Final results of the Valentine's-themed drive likely won't be finalized until Monday. 

The last blood drive held in October by the SHS HOSA club and Bloodworks NW prompted 90 donors to sign up, 40 of which were first-timers.  After screening, 65 of those who signed up were able to give blood, which can save up to 195 lives.

HOSA Club & CTE

HOSA club allows high school students to gain professional, hands-on leadership training that’s specific to the health occupation that students are interested in. Many health occupations classes offered at SHS also provide students with college credit and an idea of what they may want to pursue in their post-secondary studies or careers.

“HOSA has helped me not only to get some hands-on experience and to get out of my comfort zone but to have more interactions with healthcare professionals in a formal setting,” said SHS senior Jadzia Engle.

Engle initially thought she might want to be a sports physical therapist, but through HOSA discovered she wanted to be a general practitioner to help patients of all types.

“Even outside of health occupations, HOSA helped me to become more confident and gain an understanding of what I need to do to accomplish goals,” Engle said.

Many health occupations classes also double as Career Technical Education courses that provide students with skills, technical knowledge and experience to prepare them for high-skilled, living-wage careers that are often in demand within the local community.