By Conrad Dudderar
Yukon augmented Oklahoma’s vital blood supply at the first of three blood drives in the 2022-23 school year.
Some 155 usable units of life-saving blood were donated during the Yukon High School Leadership Blood Drive on Sept. 9 inside the YHS Main Gym, 1777 S Yukon Parkway.
“We had 218 people who signed in, including about 40 community members which was great,” YHS Student Council/Leadership advisor Darryl Andrews said.
YHS has repeatedly been honored by the Oklahoma Blood Institute for collecting the most blood donations among 6A high schools in OBI’s region, which covers Oklahoma and parts of Arkansas and Texas. The total was 286 usable units in 2021-22.
“This is our first OBI blood drive of this (2022-23) school year,” said Olivia Wright, the YHS Student Council president. “We have won an award for the most (blood) donations in our district the last four years.”
About 30 YHS student leaders helped present last Friday’s blood drive, surpassing their goal to have 200 donors.
Many other YHS Leadership and StuCo students worked behind the scenes to recruit prospective youth and adult donors from the school district and community.
“Both Student Council and Leadership run it,” Wright added. “We make this such a huge activity in our school because we think that it’s so important for our community and our school, especially for teenagers who may not see the need for blood in hospitals.
“We want to educate them, starting in our school, about how often people need blood. As soon as you’re 16 and are able to give blood, we urge you. One donation can save three lives.”
YHS Leadership Class students and Student Council members will plan and present two more blood drives during the 2022-23 school year – the second in December and third next March.
This will be the first year Yukon has hosted three student-led blood drives since the 2018-19 school year.
“During COVID, we weren’t able to have any,” Wright said. “This is our first year ‘back’ and we’re going to have three.
“This is our school and community coming together to give back.”
‘NOTHING COMPARED TO YUKON’
Andrews commended his students for their efforts organizing and leading each blood drive.
“It’s very student-driven,” the veteran YHS educator said. “I really don’t have to do much. They really do the work and deserve the credit.”
Bobby Gramling, director of OBI’s mobile operations, thanked the Andrews-led group for helping save lives of fellow Oklahomans.
All blood collected Sept. 9 stays in Oklahoma, he emphasized.
“Yukon High School has such a well-run blood drive; one of the best,” Gramling said. “I use it as a model for other blood drives.
“You’ve got to get ‘buy-in’ from the drive coordinators and from the students, which we have in Yukon. The students are helping run it, and that’s why it’s so successful.”
Many metro-area schools have blood drives, but Gramling pointed out how YHS consistently leads the pack.
“Nothing compared to Yukon,” he said. “Not being biased; that’s just the facts.”