This year’s Halloween blood drive at John S. Burke Catholic High School had the seasonally appropriate theme of “Starve a vampire, give blood."
But on a serious note, organizers and students alike are aware that each and every donated pint is needed, since the Hudson Valley’s blood supply is currently at a critically low level.
“It’s even more important than usual because there’s a major blood shortage,” said student co-captain Elizabeth Magnussen.
Approximately 70 students and community members gave the gift of life at the blood drive sponsored by the New York Blood Center and held in the school gym on Oct. 29.
“Helping people is nice, and I’m definitely happy with the turnout,” said student co-captain Carsyn Waldman.
Many of the students participating were giving blood for the first time ever.
“Once they start donating in high school, they donate for life,” said Burke Catholic nurse and blood drive organizer Kathleen Kish.
Senior Batuhan Isik was among the first-time donors.
“I have a rare blood type, so I thought ‘why not?,’ since I’m helping somebody out,” Batuhan explained.
Some student blood donors were dressed in Halloween costumes. Even Burke Catholic’s emotional support dog, Logan, was dressed -- as the Cowardly Lion.
This was the second time senior Miranda Renelt, who was dressed as an astronaut, has given blood. Even so, she was nervous.
“It’s nerve-wracking since I’m afraid of needles, but when they said there was a shortage I wanted to help,” Miranda said. “My body keeps making blood, and other people really need it.”
Burke Catholic has been honored numerous times for its exceptional level of student participation by the New York Blood Center.
“It’s nerve-wracking since I’m afraid of needles, but when they said there was a shortage I wanted to help,. My body keeps making blood, and other people really need it.” --Miranda Renelt