Virtual blood drive allows for 2 weeks to donate


Despite having to cancel last spring, Shaler Area High School is hosting its annual fall blood drive.

The recurring theme of virtual events isn’t any different in this case, as students and staff will not be donating blood in the 42-minute time frame of a school period. Instead, they will have a two week window to visit a blood bank themselves anytime from November 16 to November 30.

Anyone interested in donating blood, must visit the website, then click on “Donor Login,” “Create Login,” or “New Donor.” Easy prompts will follow such as nearby drives and an appointment scheduling page.

It’s important to provide the group code “HS010069” during the pre-screening process at the time of donation so our school can receive credit for the donation.


Physical Education teacher Ms. Marci Jackley, the blood drive sponsor, hopes the out-of-school opportunity for donation encourages parents, teachers, and staff members to also get out there and donate blood.

“I think this is a great opportunity for Shaler Area High School. This will give not only the students that are eligible to donate the chance, but hopefully a parent or friend will accompany them, and will also donate- so the potential is out there to do really well,” she said.

Donating blood is more important now than ever. Blood products are high in demand, but they’re especially necessary now because of COVID-19 and regular donors not going out to donate. Blood donation is also usually low during this time of year around the holiday season.

Although it seems nothing is the same this year, one thing that has not changed is the scholarship opportunity that Vitalant provides for students who have donated at every Shaler Area blood. If you’re 16 years of age or older, you are qualified to donate and hopefully earn some scholarship money in the future.

If you’re too young to donate, you might be able to donate in the spring blood drive that is scheduled to take place in March 2021.

“It will be important to see where COVID takes us in the next few months. Another nice thing about this drive is that all successful donations will be tested for antibodies to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19,” Jackley said.

Shaler Area High School has consistently collected over 100 units of blood per drive. According to Vitalant, our school is considered a “larger drive in the North Hills area.”

But you might be asking yourself, “Why should I donate blood?”

Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood, so donating can save up to three lives. It’s important to continually resupply it as red blood cells can only be used up to 42 days. All blood types are needed, especially common ones.

Blood is the most precious gift someone can give to another person, and our high school has a two week window to give that gift.