Senior Emily Balch wanted to work on the blood drive, scheduled from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 22, in the Midlakes High School Gymnasium, after watching other areas struggle to recover from hurricanes, earthquakes, and other natural disasters.
Students, staff, and members of the community taking the proper COVID-19 precautions such as wearing masks indoors are invited to the blood drive. Students must be at least 16 years old to donate blood in New York State and meet other requirements. Sixteen-year-olds are required by the state to obtain parental consent.
"I think it is an opportunity for people to not only donate to the Red Cross but also to see, embrace, or acknowledge, that Midlakes does a lot for the community and that the students do a lot for the community," said Balch.
The vocal student is a second-year criminal justice student at the Finger Lakes Technical and Career Center and has already obtained enough credits to graduate. She plans to study forensic psychology or criminal justice in college.
The American Red Cross offers student coordinators scholarships depending on how many people donate, and while Balch is planning to host other blood drives, she may just put the money back into school for either materials, class activities, or something else to benefit other students.
"While school already accommodates a lot of things and provides accessibility, I think people feel like they are obligated to provide these things," she said. "I thought by donating back to the school ... these people would feel like someone wants me to have this. I don’t want people to feel left out or embarrassed not to have certain things."
Balch will be recruiting donors during lunch periods at school. Staff and students may contact teacher Brittany Sullivan, too. The public may sign up at https://rcblood.org/2Y3IsdU/.