Pre-med class puts on Halloween blood drive

Higher turnout helped provide blood to hospitals amidst shortage


Koen Myers

Junior Hazel Beeson prepares to donate blood during the blood drive on October 31st.

By Julia Barker and Jack Tell

Getting your blood sucked out of you usually isn’t something you would want to happen at school, but on Halloween this year, things looked a little different. The pre-med class held their annual blood drive on October 31 and saw an encouraging turnout for their second drive since the pandemic. 

Pre-med teacher Anitha Subramanian led the pre-med club in putting on this semester’s blood drive. Blood drives have always been part of the Lawrence High tradition. Before the pandemic, Student Council ran them under Stuco sponsor Mike Jones, but because of the pandemic everything was paused. The last drive StuCo ran was in March 2020.

When Subramanian became a teacher at LHS last year, pre-med students wanted to set up a blood drive, so last spring was their first attempt after a year of hiatus. 

Now, school blood drives will be held every semester with pre-med in charge, as Ms. Subramanian has a semester-based class. Blood drives will be held every fall and spring of the school year. 

Setting up semesterly blood drives takes time and dedication on the part of the students. 

“We decide on a date, the lady comes in from the community blood bank, she talks to the kids, they ask the questions,” Subramanian said. “Then they start to formulate their plan and organization.” 

The community blood center asks for at least 61 signups. Last year, only 45 people signed up for the blood drive, partly because it was scheduled for senior skip day. However, this semester, 62 people signed up to donate blood.

Because this semester’s blood drive fell on Halloween, students helped create posters to advertise, with the theme of fangs and blood woven in. 

“I’m proud of the posters we came up with because most of them we made on our own,” senior Mackenna Jones said. 

The students in charge of the blood drive also got to be recorded for the Lion’s Roar video announcements to advertise the drive. 

“The best part was making videos with the class because it’s fun,” Jones said. 

There were some challenges with setting the blood drive up, because it couldn’t conflict with other groups using the West Gym space. 

“Coordinating with a lot of our athletic directors, athletic directors having the kids’ schedule coordinated,” Subramanian said. “Those are some challenges.” 

There has been a blood shortage in Kansas, but also nationwide, with the Red Cross declaring its first ever blood shortage emergency. This means that donating blood is incredibly important right now. 

“Recently, there’s been a pretty bad blood crisis at a lot of the hospitals, and as old donors retire, they have to get new ones,” Senior Natalie Cope said. “A lot of people don’t donate because of health issues and things like that. We have a lot of young healthy students here. Some students who have really good blood.”

By simply donating blood, LHS students and staff helped to make an impact on the community. Senior Maddock Oberzan said that it was rewarding to be part of the effort. 

“It was great,” Oberzan said. “The nurses there were all very nice, it was cool to be able to participate in such a good thing. It’s nice that I can help other people, even if I don’t know who they are.”