Northwestern Press

Saturday, January 18, 2020
Rhiannon Ortiz greets donors as they sign in Nov. 7 at the Key Club’s blood drive at Northwestern Lehigh High School. Rhiannon Ortiz greets donors as they sign in Nov. 7 at the Key Club’s blood drive at Northwestern Lehigh High School.
Key Club member and volunteer, Bailey DeJesus, relaxes after her blood donation. Key Club member and volunteer, Bailey DeJesus, relaxes after her blood donation.
PRESS PHOTO BY BERNADETTE SUKLEYNorthwestern Lehigh High School junior Maxine Hoffman and senior Jessica Eberle are both Key Club members and blood donors. PRESS PHOTO BY BERNADETTE SUKLEYNorthwestern Lehigh High School junior Maxine Hoffman and senior Jessica Eberle are both Key Club members and blood donors.
PRESS PHOTOS BY BERNADETTE SUKLEYUnforgettable Ed from Miller-Keystone Blood Center kept the day and evening on the lighter side. PRESS PHOTOS BY BERNADETTE SUKLEYUnforgettable Ed from Miller-Keystone Blood Center kept the day and evening on the lighter side.
Food donations provided by student volunteers, Sal’s Pizza and Paese Mio were collected on this table. Food donations provided by student volunteers, Sal’s Pizza and Paese Mio were collected on this table.

Key Club blood drive is a success

Wednesday, November 20, 2019 by BERNADETTE SuKLEY Special to The Press in Local News

As cold rain beat on the windows at Northwestern Lehigh High School, students and adults were safely inside donating blood to support their community.

In the rooms sectioned off for the Key Club’s blood drive, lights glowed and the buzz of activity continued from morning until evening on Nov. 7.

“Whatever is donated here, stays here,” said Robert Biese, high school math teacher and Key Club moderator.

“This is my 28th drive. The Key Club has three events each school year.”

The Key Club will have two other blood drives, one in January and another in the spring.

Senior and Key Club volunteer Rhiannon Ortiz was on hand to greet donors as they came in.

“Donors signed up online and then check in here before giving blood,” Ortiz stated.

She remained at the check-in station all day.

“I told all my teachers what I was doing and they were understanding,” she said.

Ortiz made sure she was on top of all her classwork and notes before her all-day volunteer Key Club event.

Key Club members were volunteers and donors.

High school students age 16 and older are allowed to donate blood with parental OK.

Still, a few well-meaning students did not have the right requirements.

Some had low iron, were underweight or were not comfortable with needles to complete the process.

Ortiz and other Key Club members Bailey DeJesus and Jessica Eberle agreed that even though those students could not give blood, their support was appreciated.

“They were doing more than most students,” Eberle said.

More than 100 donors logged in.

Biese credits social media for the success of the blood drive.

“Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, even texting — the ways these students communicate and engage other students to encourage them to donate is impressive,” he said.

Ortiz said as gloomy as the weather was, it helped the drive.

“It’s rainy, so it canceled outdoor practices and other outdoor activities. So, people came inside to help or donate,” she stated.

Walk-ins were welcomed at the blood drive.

There were about five to 10 Key Club members helping check-in donors all day.

Biese said student volunteers were not taking advantage of their day off.

“I select the student ambassadors carefully,” he said. “These are not kids who are interested in making themselves look good, but kids who understand this isn’t about them, it’s about the community.”