By Conrad Dudderar
Senior Staff Writer
Yukon High School is looking for a three-peat this year, and they’re off to a great start.
With support from Yukon parents and the public, the Oklahoma Blood Institute tallied 199 donations during an annual fall YHS Leadership blood drive on Sept. 12 inside the YHS auxiliary gym, 1777 S Yukon Parkway.
About 258 people registered to give blood last Thursday in the first of three drives YHS will host during the 2019-20 school year. YHS exceeded OBI’s goal of 176 blood donations.
Yukon is the leader among all high schools in blood donations, according to OBI account consultant Jordan Post.
“Yukon far and wide sets the standard,” Post said. “Yukon sets the bar.”
For the past two years, Yukon has won an OBI competition to see which high school in its region (all of Oklahoma and parts of Texas and Arkansas) had the highest blood donations.
About 553 units of blood were collected in 2018-19 after 496 units were collected in 2017-18.
About 90 percent of Oklahoma high schools host blood drives through OBI.
“The next closest to Yukon is Enid High, which usually is in the mid-300s,” Post said.
YHS is unique because the school hosts three student-led blood drives annually, YHS Leadership/Student Council advisor Darryl Andrews said.
“We’ve had large numbers because we’re able to have three drives during the school year,” Andrews said. “Our administration and Principal Melissa Barlow are big into our year-long ‘YHS Gives Back’ initiative.”
Last Thursday’s blood drive was just the latest example.
Community service projects are planned monthly during the school year to allow YHS students and staff to “give back” to the local community. This includes Random Acts of Kindness Week, diaper collections for the Infant Crisis Center, food drive for Santa’s Toy Shoppe and others.
LOTS OF SUPPORT
Andrews, who has coordinated YHS blood drives since the early ‘90s, said about 75 parents and another 25-30 “people from the community” typically are among donors.
“The rest are our students here,” Andrews said.
About 25 YHS Leadership students in grades 9-12 volunteered to work the fall blood drive. Students are selected to help based on merit.
YHS Student Council members will volunteer for the second blood drive this December and both Leadership and StuCo students will help with the third drive next March.
The students perform a variety of tasks to help plan and present each blood drive – recruiting donors, scheduling, setting up, preparing food, distributing T-shirts and cleaning up.
Students earn community service hours and grade bonuses for volunteering at the event and enlisting people to donate blood.
As a gift for giving, blood donors were able to choose either an orange Oklahoma State University or red University of Oklahoma “Bedlam Blood Battle” T-shirt.