Rescheduled blood drive proves to be crucial for West Michigan


Maddie Monroe

Students of science teacher Todd Diederichsen help out at recent blood drive in order to meet local quotas for blood.

Alexis Tater, Reporter

The blood drive at Grand Haven High School has been rescheduled due to weather. School and church cancellations have created a massive need for blood in West Michigan. The weather has caused many car crashes and numerous local blood drives taking place in schools and churches to be cancelled. Consequently, the blood quota has not been met for the month of February and is predicted to not be met for March either.

¨We are 3,000 units of blood short,¨science teacher and blood drive coordinator Todd Diederichsen said. ¨By the end of March, that number has gone up to 4,000 short.¨

The American Red Cross and Michigan Blood supplies hospitals in all of west Michigan with blood, and high school blood drives supply blood to mainly West Michigan in the winter, but by summer, local high schools and churches supply all of Michigan.

There are many benefits to donating blood. Not only does it save other peoples lives, it could make you feel better.

¨Well, the big benefit is going to be mentally. It’s hey, I can help someone. By donating blood, they say you can actually save the life of the three other people. Sometimes they split your blood up and use parts of your blood for different things,” Diederichsen said. “When people really get into it… their body gets used to having blood removed, so their blood kicks into overdrive to make new blood. There’s a really good feeling that comes in from that like a week later, people call it a “donors high”.”

On top of the “feel good” aspect, every time you give blood, it is recorded and if a senior has successfully given blood six times before they graduate, they will receive a red honors cord at graduation. If a student is unable to give blood, they are able to volunteer through specific programs to receive their red cord. On top of these benefits, giving blood could save your own life in the future.

“Let’s say you need surgery. At the hospital, you need three units of blood, and there’s going to be a cost on your bill per unit of blood,” Diederichsen said. “But if you had donated then it’s kind of like you get credit for it.”

Principal Tracy Wilson says that there are additional benefits in donating blood.

“My entire career Mr. Diederichsen has helped out with or taken charge of the blood drive,” Wilson said. ¨His anatomy and physiology students get hands on learning and I think this is one of the most important ways to educate kids.”

The next blood drive will be on Tuesday, April 16, and in order to participate, registration dates will be April 8-11 during all lunches.

In order to give blood, you need to be 16 (with parent permission) or 17 and up. You need to be at least 110- 120 pounds in relation to your height and feeling good (not on antibiotics) with no donation of blood in the past 56 days. For more information please visit: