Bulldogs saving lives

Rachel Weathers, Staff Writer

Every year, Edmond Memorial hosts two blood drives, one in the fall and the other in the spring, in partnership with the Oklahoma Blood Institute (OBI). OBI offers several ways for people to become involved with their organization. They have opportunities for high school students as well as college students to volunteer. Their website allows potential donors the ability to find the nearest upcoming drive.

Memorial’s most recent blood drive took place Jan. 31 and received 54 donations from students, faculty and parents, amounting to 162 lives saved. 

For the first time, members of Memorial’s Business Professionals of America (BPA) chapter, along with sponsor Wendy Clark, organized the event. It was an opportunity for them to give back to others around the state. 

“We had never done anything like this before and our members were excited to help,” Clark said. “A couple of our officers want to go into health care, so this event gave them exposure to the field, they have a real interest in helping others.” 

Senior Ella Guthrie continues to participate in blood drives because of the benefits it can have for those in need.

“I will always give blood because knowing that I’m doing something good for others and that my blood type can be used for many people makes donating worth it,” Guthrie said. 

For senior Samantha Estlinbaum, giving blood is important because of past experience with a family member needing blood. 

“When I was younger, my older brother became very sick with the H1N1 and needed a blood transfusion. At the time, the hospital didn’t have enough blood, so they had to go to the blood bank,” Estlinbaum said. “If I could give blood and save other kids from that experience that would be amazing.”

For Estlinbaum, organizing the blood drive was a way to explore potential opportunities.

“I’ve wanted to be a nurse since I was little and as I’m interested in interning at OBI over the summer, this was a great way to start,” Estlinbaum said. 

Helping others is the main focus of OBI. This is what drew 2019 alum, Rachel Bussert, into interning with the organization.

“I love their mission of providing blood to Oklahoma hospitals and, as I am very passionate when it comes to philanthropy, I was excited to work with a nonprofit like the Oklahoma Blood Institute that has such a large reach,” Bussert said. 

 OBI is the sixth-largest nonprofit blood collector in America and provides blood to 160 medical facilities throughout the state. The next blood drive at Memorial will be in the fall of the 2020-2021 school year. This will once again allow students, 16 years of age, the opportunity to help others in need, as one donation can save up to three lives. 


Contact Rachel Weathers at [email protected]