EC hosts Valentine’s Day blood drive

By Mia Randall, Editor in Chief

This week, on Feb. 14, El Camino’s student government worked with Vitalant to put on the second of this year’s blood drives. 

Vitalant is a nonprofit organization that collects blood from volunteers and donates it to local hospitals. 

Vitalant Account Manager Patty Garnto explains that coming to a high school campus like EC is a great way to encourage more people and students to donate, not only currently, but later in life.

“I see all donors from all walks of life and it’s really cool when I go out to a [blood] drive and see people in their 40s or 50s donating and I ask them, ‘how did you get started?’ and they tell me that they learned from their high school,” Garnto said. 

EC student Leila Fernandes (‘24) has donated blood twice and she encourages other students to do the same to benefit the community.

“My mom had cancer and she had to get blood transfusions when she needed help a few years ago—it’s a good thing to do if you can because it can save people’s lives,” Fernandes said.

Leila Fernandes sits in the blood donation chair while she gets her blood drawn.

Garnto emphasizes that people are constantly in need of blood, especially now, since we’re in the middle of a national blood shortage.

“Every two seconds somebody needs blood in the U.S., so it’s really crucial to give back to others—we can’t fabricate it, there’s no synthetic blood unfortunately, so the only way we can help patients is by donating,” Garnto said. 

EC’s student government plays a big role in hosting these blood drives, especially Community Service Lead Carolina Carruth (‘24). She explains that for many weeks before the blood drive actually happens, she and other student government members are out every day at lunch working a sign up table for the blood drive. 

“We have to publicize which means making Instagram posts, hanging posters and putting flyers on cars just to get them to come into the quad at lunch and sign up so that they can donate,” Carruth said.

When you donate, you get a free T-shirt, snacks, drinks and other additional things such as an Amazon gift card. 

EC hosts up to two blood drives a year and student government offers sign ups at lunch in the quad for about three weeks leading up to the event.

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