KETTERING, Ohio – A truly unified effort to help others was on display at the third annual Fairmont High School “Unity in the Community Blood Drive” Friday, Nov. 3 at Trent Arena.
More than 200 student donors turned out to help area hospital patients in need of blood. Health student volunteers learned about the compassion that goes into patient care. Together, their effort will be part of this year’s Unity campaign gift to help families impacted by cancer.
“Unity in the Community” is a partnership between Fairmont and Archbishop Alter High Schools, Community Blood Center, and Universal 1 Credit Union. Universal 1 will award $500 to each high school for holding fall blood drives. The schools will combine the awards and present a $1,000 gift to charity at the Alter-Fairmont basketball game.
The schools take turns designating the charity to receive the $1,000 Unity award. This year the Fairmont Student Government has chosen Camp Kesem at The University of Cincinnati, a summer camp and peer support program for children with parents fighting cancer.
“A lot of our graduates have volunteered there and some of the members of Student Council worked there last summer,” said Erica Rogers, assistant Activity Coordinator. “It’s perfect because $1,000 is the cost of attending the camp so we can sponsor a child.”
“I’m so proud of our decision,” said Mariah Brooks, a member of the Allied Health student sponsor group for the blood drive, and the Commissioner of Service for Student Council.
Maria was one of more than a dozen Allied Health students, taught by veteran nurse Malia Pryor, who organize and volunteer at all of the Fairmont blood drives. A key responsibility is serving students in the Donor Café and making sure they are recovering well from their donation.
“This is a lot of hands-on experience for us,” said Mariah. “It’s not just nursing. It lets us engage with the students and learn how to interact with people like in a nurse-patient relationship.”
A total of 202 students registered to donate Friday, including 91 first-time donors and 162 donations for 101 percent of the collection goal.
Fairmont began the new school years as CBC’s regional champion in student blood drive participation and donor loyalty. Fairmont earned two $1,000 High Leadership grants for 2016-2017 for the top category of “Most Donors” and also the “Red Cord Excellence” category for the highest number of graduates who frequently supported blood drives.
Trent Arena becomes a bustling Donor Center during Fairmont blood drives with 24 donor beds assembled in the lobby. Fairmont consistently attracts a mix of first-time and experienced donors. A perfect example came from brothers Jacob and Jimmy Hosford.
Jacob is a senior volleyball player who made his sixth lifetime donation Friday. Younger brother Jimmy, a junior, made his first lifetime donation.
“I first donated here at school and I go in the summer too,” said Jacob. “Me and my dad will go. He worked as an EMT and now he’s assistant chief at the Dayton Fire Department (Jacob’s dad is DFD Assistant Fire Chief Nicholas Hosford). He would always say, ‘Come and go with me and give blood.’”
Friday it was Jacob’s turn to set an example for his brother Jimmy. As Jimmy headed to the donor area after hearing his name called Jacob turned and said, “He’ll be fine.” The brothers later celebrated the milestone day over juice and cookies.