Red Cross is hosting it’s annual blood drive on Thursday, December 7 at Malden High School. Sign ups started a week or so before the actual drive. Malden High has supported the Red Cross Club for many years with the different fundraisers [we have] held. The club is advised by math teacher, Chris Giordano.

Red Cross is a fundraising organization that donates to help  “provide relief and support to those in crisis”. Red Cross Clubs are based in schools all over Massachusetts to help students and young adults develop leadership skills by volunteering to help and interacting with one another. The Red Cross Clubs started at Harvard University, the first college in Massachusetts to collaborate with Red Cross. The clubs then continued at Boston Latin academy as the first high school with Red Cross Club in 2001.

Senior Max Weng, is currently president of the club here at MHS and has been apart of it since his freshman year. His role as president includes being a spokesperson for “the executive board and the club”, which includes organizing meetings and keeping the club active and growing. One of his motivations for participating in the club was the legacy of the work his family has done with Red Cross. Weng is now president like his older cousin who started the club at Malden High as president along with other members of his family. He stated that “[he is] grateful to be able to say [he has] also become a president and [continues] to do the work that [his family has] done”. Weng plans to continue his work with Red Cross after high school and “throughout his lifetime”, even though he will not be as active.

Red Cross spreads the word for the upcoming Blood Drive. Photo by Jennica Ruan.

Junior Erica Mei is also involved as the club’s historian. As a historian,  Mei takes pictures during the times she is volunteering of the students helping those in need. She started out during her freshman year and will continue her work after high school because “volunteering is fun and doing a good deed makes [her] happy”. Her future goal is to “help those who need help” whether it be volunteering or donating.

Malden High has hosted many food drives and blood donations like last years when we ran a blood drive at Fenway park during 9/11. The purpose of Red Cross in Malden and at our school is for students to get involved at an early age and start being aware of the problems around us. After natural disaster, Malden High School is one of the first clubs to act and help by starting fundraisers.

Although the blood drive is for a good cause there are restrictions on who can donate. The blood has to be safe to use so it has to go through several processes. Restrictions can include tattoos, weight, diabetes, anemia, and age. Tattoos must be at least a year old from when you first got it, depending on the facility it was regulated in. Your weight is depended on your size and gender. Anemia patients are not necessarily ineligible to donate, it mostly depends on your circumstance. Finally, you must be 16 or older to donate.

After the blood is taken from the drive there is a process to ensure the safety of its use. The blood is starts with being scanned then separated different groups that depend on what they are made up of which includes red cells, platelets and plasma. There is an individual process for each of the separate groups since each serves a different purpose. Finally, it is put into tubes and tested to check for diseases and other factors that help serve the patients compatibility. Not all the blood donated is used though, if it is not used the blood is tossed away and the donor is notified and informed why.

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