While there have been blood drives on campus over the years, the school’s inaugural American Red Cross Club has been formed with about 30 students on the roster to participate.
Club President Josh Mukherjee, a junior, said he and the club’s Vice President, senior Jasmine Johnson, had noticed that other schools host blood drives.
“We weren't sure why Hamden Hall had never done one in the years that we have been here. We started looking into it last year, and we eventually realized that we could do it through the Red Cross,” said Josh.
The blood drive date for this school year is tentatively scheduled for April 9. In the meantime, club members will help raise awareness about the state’s need for blood and the ease of donating (a new online system allows you to sign up in advance for a specific time!), while also coordinating other activities such as CPR training and assisting veterans.
“Club members will raise awareness to bring as many donors as possible as three lives can be saved with just one donation,” said Josh. “We plan to make posters and include the Lower and Middle School in this, and the Red Cross has been open to sending speakers to our school for assemblies.”
Upper School Dean of Students John Greenawalt acknowledged the need for a formalized club and maintained that having students advocate for the Red Cross and its mission would be “helpful.”
“It’s a great community event,” he said. “Everyone who is able should give blood in their local community. Connecticut is at a two or three day supply and should be at five. Everyone knows someone who owes their life or continued good health to the availability of blood.”
Prior to the club’s first meeting on December 3, Josh and Jasmine met with Red Cross representatives to learn more about hosting blood drives and establishing a club. Their first order of business among their peers was to get each student signed up online as official Red Cross volunteers. Those students can now log community service hours and contribute to the greater community.
Club members will work with their advisor, Mathematics Department Chair Maria Agulian, and Mr. Greenawalt to host a successful blood drive. In April, Red Cross representatives will come on campus and set up stations in order that students, parents, and faculty can donate blood. Since donors have to be 17 or older, parents of Lower and Middle Schoolers will also be a target group for club members to contact.
“Jasmine and I hope that the Red Cross Club will be a successful one for years to come and for the blood drive to be an annual, student-run event. We rely heavily on the support and participation of all parents, too – this is a full community event that everyone at Hamden Hall can be a part of. We can only imagine how much impact our Hamden Hall community can have,” said Josh.