Convent of the Sacred Heart students, teachers, staff, family, and friends will gather in the gym to donate blood Friday February 28. This annual opportunity to save lives will take place between 11:15 am and 4:15 pm.
The drive is run by the Red Cross Club (RCC), founded by Sacred Heart graduate, Jennie Chieco ’13. Jennie founded the club during eighth grade, for her “Making History” project in 2009. As she advanced into the Upper School, she became more passionate about the cause and channeled her passion into a club.
Jennie’s older sister and Sacred Heart graduate, Michelle Chieco ’06, inspired her to take action within the Sacred Heart community. Michelle suffers from thalassemia, a disease which requires biweekly blood transfusions. With the school’s approval, Jennie established a Red Cross Blood Drive as an annual event. Senior club heads Jacqueline Thomas, Kendall Calcano and Marissa Licursi continue the tradition, organizing the drive with the club of 49 members.
Jacqueline wanted to join the club upon hearing a speech by a teenage girl in need of daily blood transfusions.
“Knowing that my life-saving blood will go to this girl, or any person, compels me to return to the donating bed, and continues to drive me as a Red Cross Club head,” Jacqueline said. “Ultimately, I joined the Red Cross Club to spread its undeniable message, in hopes of inspiring individuals to save others’ lives, including this teenage girl’s life.”
The need for blood continues to increase because of a constant decrease in the number of donations. Most prospective donors fear the process instead of recognizing the positive effect contributing can have on the lives of others.
“The donation itself is very short (merely 8-15 minutes) and I know most of my fear lies within my head. But, there are trained professionals and the slight prick that I will feel is nothing compared to what others in need of blood transfusions will experience,” Jacqueline said.
The RCC’s goal this year is to have a total of 85 sign ups for the blood drive. Donors must be at least 17 years old, and weigh at least 110 lbs to be eligible for donation. To sign up, email Jacqueline Thomas, Marissa Licursi, or Kendall Calcano.
“The blood drive scene is very exciting, and we love being able to give the donors our utmost appreciation of their contributions,” Marissa said.
-Alex Dmitri, Staff Writer