ORWELL — The Grand Valley branch of the National Honor Society has taken an active approach on volunteering in the community this year. The students in the National Honor Society have spent a majority of the fall season planning and organizing for a Red Cross-sponsored blood drive that was held at the high school. The National Honor Society was founded upon the basis of five pillars: leadership, scholarship, citizenship, character and service. To honor the pillar of service, Grand Valley High School National Honor Society members organize a variety of service projects that benefit the community. The students do a major project in the fall, as well as one in the spring. The fall service project was decided to be a blood drive held at the high school. The blood drive was open to all eligible students, teachers and community members that were willing to donate their blood to the Red Cross.
The members of NHS set to work on the blood drive early in September. They had various tasks to complete before the blood drive could take place. The National Honor Society adviser, Carrie Brumit, devoted a large amount of her time to coordinating with workers and volunteers of the Red Cross. The members of NHS also set a goal of collecting at least 35 of blood for the Red Cross.
The students spent many hours after school planning, making advertisement signs and making decorations for the blood drive. The NHS members decided that they wanted a theme to go with the blood drive. They chose a Halloween theme. All of their advertising posters had vampires on them and read “We Want Your Blood!” They also bought and made many decorations to go with their theme, and decided to all dress as vampires as well! It was hard work, but they found the endeavor to be worthwhile in the end.
“The members stayed after school to organize everything, said Miranda Ritter, senior NHS member. “We came up with our theme and made posters and flyers to post around the school. We also worked to organize the event, and it ended up being a huge success.”
During the weeks of hard work and preparations, the National Honor Society gathered a list of students who wanted to donate their blood. To donate, a person must be at least 16 years of age and meet the standard weight minimum associated with their height. The eligible students were allowed to sign up during the lunch period at school. The results were outstanding — more than 60 students signed up to donate.
After all the posters and prep work were done, the blood drive finally took place on Oct. 5. The members of the National Honor Society arrived at the school at 6 a.m. to help the Red Cross workers set up. After a few hours of hard work, the blood drive was ready to go.
The blood drive was held in the Grand Valley High School gymnasium starting at 8 a.m. and ending at 2 p.m. The NHS members helped run the drive smoothly. All of the students who had volunteered came down at their scheduled time and were run through a variety of tests before they could donate. Not all of the students could donate, but those who could were excited. “I was happy that I was able to contribute,” said senior Chelsea Fernandez. “It was well worth an hour of my time. I feel great that I could help those in need.” Junior Matt Miller shares similar sentiments. “After I donated blood, I was happy to know that I helped someone in need,” he said. “The blood drive was important because it means people helping other people; it means the community coming together to support those who need blood. I’m happy I could give others the opportunity that I have, that I could give someone another chance.”
After all the donations were complete, the National Honor Society helped the Red Cross put the gym back into order. In the end, the blood drive collected 41 pints of blood, well over the NHS goal. The students were ecstatic with the results. Senior Matt Chernesky said, “I felt like I really helped a great cause and I hope my contribution can help save a life.” Grand Valley National Honor Society will be hosting another blood drive in mid-April next year.