Driven is a word that comes up a lot in our society. It can mean many things. However, in the world of careers and schooling, we often use it to talk about the motivation level of those we come in contact with. Someone who accomplishes a lot without having to be told what to do is said to be driven. To be driven is to also care deeply about your cause and the details surrounding it.
That brings me to what our Health Technology students and instructors have been working on with the American Red Cross for the past few months: the Vantage Blood Drive. Mrs. Wendy Baumle, Mrs. Leigh Carey and their students from Junior and Senior Health technology have spent countless hours educating other students (and our staff) about the importance of donating blood, as well as setting up a schedule for all of our caring (and courageous) students who have chosen to donate. The health technology students have also been volunteering and working to help the Red Cross with set up and implementation of the entire event. I think it's appropriately called a "Blood Drive", because it's organizers are totally driven to provide a life-saving service for people with life threatening illnesses, diseases, and injuries.
You have to be pretty motivated to pull an event like this off. It's been a lot of fun watching our volunteering students run their stations, interact with the donors, and help the Red Cross folks with anything and everything they possibly can. It has also been a neat experience getting to see our volunteers turn into salesmen. You see, even knowing how much a blood donation can help others in need, there are still some (like myself, unfortunately) who are unable to muster up the fortitude it takes to give blood. While excuses (like my fear of seeing my blood in a bag outside of my body...I know, it's pretty weak) are tolerated by our students, they have not been afraid to continually try to talk me (and others like me) into giving blood anyway. Some share all of the benefits that come from giving blood, while others share more personal stories about loved ones they've witnessed being helped by a total stranger's generous giving of blood, and yet others have tried flattery. I heard one student tell one of our teachers that "maybe their teaching ability would be transferred through their blood...then we'd have another great teacher in the world". If that's not a good sales technique, I don't know what is. Either way, our Vantage students are not only giving their time, energy, and in many cases their blood; they're also sharing the opportunity with as many people as they can.
With that in mind, I'd like to send a big thank you to the American Red Cross, the Vantage Health Tech department, and all those who have given their efforts to putting together this amazing event. It would also be remiss not to thank those who are brave/strong enough to be willing to donate blood at any time. It really does make a difference. Just one blood donation can help three different people. As of now, it's only Friday morning at 10:30 and the Blood Drive has already collected over 100 units of blood. I've never been great with math, but I believe that means the Vantage Blood Drive has provided blood, platelets, and plasma for over 300 people already. That's another wonderful example of how our students are driven to help others in need. Thank you again to all of those involved in bringing this successful event to Vantage each year.