Northwestern Press

Sunday, July 21, 2019
PRESS PHOTO BY ANNA GILGOFF Sarah Malay is president of the Key Club at Northwestern Lehigh High School. The next blood drives are Jan. 8 and March 12. PRESS PHOTO BY ANNA GILGOFF Sarah Malay is president of the Key Club at Northwestern Lehigh High School. The next blood drives are Jan. 8 and March 12.

Key Club was looking for blood ...

Thursday, January 8, 2015 by ANNA GILGOFF Special to The Press in School

... donations, that is, at Miller-Keystone drive

Nov. 13, 2014, was the day all those who wanted to help save a life actually could, just by taking a short trip to the high school and donating blood.

As in the past, Northwestern's Key Club worked in conjunction with the Miller-Keystone Blood Center.

"Anyone at all can donate," Club President Sarah Malay said. "One pint of blood can save three lives."

Key Club Adviser Bob Biese discussed the donation process.

"The entire process usually only takes 45 to 60 minutes, tops, including check in and check out," Biese said. "We're in the gym this year. We've grown so much over the years we were looking for a place where people can get in and out."

Malay said being in the gym was a great way to expand and get more donors through the doors.

"We can now have more people donate at once," Malay. said. "You don't have to walk out into the cold. You don't have to brave the elements to donate."

Biese said Miller-Keystone previously sent the bloodmobile to the school.

"But three years ago, we opened it up to the public and that was a game changer," Biese explained. "It's all done electronically through Miller-Keystone."

Donors can register at giveapint.org.

"Ours is one of the fastest growing because of how much our community is willing to support us," Biese said. "We also draw from nearby communities as well."

Malay said anyone over the age of 17 can donate.

"If you donate during the school day, you need a parent's permission," Malay explained. "If you sign up online at giveapint.org, we'll write you a pass and give you a permission slip you have to bring back on the day you donate. As long as you're not dizzy, after about 15 minutes you're free to go."

Malay had nothing but high praise for the two blood drive coordinators, Claire Bachman and Erica Bond.

"They have taken the job and run with it," she said. "They are two of the best people I could have ever asked for to run a blood drive."

Key Club had much to do before the actual day of the drive.

"You had to get people to sign up to donate and our members had to make sure everything was ready," Malay said. "We worked very closely together. Key Club is a great organization."

In addition to the blood drive, Key Club is arranging two more before the school year ends.

"Our blood drives are arranged eight weeks apart," said Biese. "Weisenberg Elementary kicks off the school year with a blood drive in September, run by the PTO. Donors must wait eight weeks between donations."

Blood drives are also scheduled for Jan. 8 and March 12.

"[Key Club] is a service organization," said Biese. "The blood drive is our main activity but we do tons of others.

"Our activities are driven by what kids want to do. They find the community need. [For example] we support the Northern Lehigh Food Bank and we do it three to four times a year."

Biese became active with the club five years ago.

"Originally Susan [Barnett] made me do it," Biese joked. "But here's the cheesy part. Since I'm an Eagle Scout, I've always valued taking care of others and Key Club is about serving others."

"I've seen a lot in close family [situations] that has inspired me to help out in the community," said Malay, who wants to be a chiropractor. "This is my way to reach out to both family and community.

"My mom thinks it's great. It's a great way to be involved in the community."

The blood drive offers students and residents an opportunity to serve as well, she said.