The recent Pottstown CARES event not only helped cleanup many neighborhood streets, add a fresh coat of paint on some houses, and provide information to the public about many community service organization it also helped to save lives right here in Pottstown. Partnering with the Miller-Keystone Blood Bank, donation drives were conducted at both the community days and community cleanup events. Twenty units of blood were collected at the Hill School during the community days’ event and 51 units at Pottstown High School. According to Carol Graves from the Miller-Keystone Blood Bank each unit of blood donated helps to save three lives. She said, “Every two seconds in America someone needs a blood transfusion. All of the blood donated through this event will be utilized right here in Pottstown to help save lives.”
Pottstown High School students played an active role in the program. Members of the high school Student Government were responsible for organizing and promoting the event while Health Occupations students assisted technicians in collecting the donated blood.
Michaela Johnson, Health Occupations teacher, said, “The drive was a great success. I’m so proud of the students who took part. Workers from Miller-Keystone pointed out that our students were great to work with. They volunteered their time and were able to help others while gaining knowledge of how the healthcare team works.”
Health Occupations student Ashli Sinclair said, “I had fun and enjoyed helping at the blood drive. It made me feel good to know I was helping others.”
Classmate Jasmine Maldonado said, “I really felt like I was able to make a difference knowing that I was doing something that will help save lives.”
“As a donor aide, I was able to help donors through the process. I worked directly with the phlebotomist,” stated student Kourage Norris.
Mark Agnew, advisor to Student Government, said, “This is a tremendous experience for our students. Organizing, promoting, and facilitating this event gives our students real life experiences and a sense of accomplishment in playing a role in our community.”
Student Government member Kelly O’Donnell said, “This is my second year helping out with the blood drive. I was able to go to the Miller-Keystone breakfast last spring where they have donor recipients share their gratitude and was motivated by what I heard. I’m looking forward to our February drive and hoping we can fit in another opportunity to help the community before the end of the year. It is awesome to really be able to help save a life.”
Student Ben Habekost summed it up by saying, “It feels good to give back to the community and it shows that Pottstown High School students have pride in Pottstown.”