According to the Blood Bank of Hawai‘i, every two seconds blood is needed for a lifesaving treatment or emergency care.
In recent years, Kamehameha Schools Hawai‘i haumāna have raised awareness of our state’s critical need for blood donations through Senior Legacy projects – a KSH graduation requirement which challenges students to sharpen their leadership skills by addressing community needs.
The campus recently wrapped up its third community blood drive of the year, spearheaded by KSH High School Student Body President Ho‘onani McClung. With the theme of “Every Drop Counts,” the campaign collected 265 pints of blood.
“The drives have been the Senior Legacy project of students consistently since 2013,” said KS Hawai‘i High School English Kumu Elizabeth Truesdell, advisor of the school’s LifeSAVERs’ Club. “Since then, we have hosted blood drives that collected over 1000 pints of blood – enough to help save over 3000 lives!
“One of my personal goals is to encourage students to become regular blood donors,” said Truesdell. “Over a year ago, the Blood Bank dropped the donation age to 16 with parental consent, which allows sophomores to donate blood. We have a core group of regular faculty and staff donors, which I think provides an excellent model for students to see their teachers, coaches, and parents donating blood at school.”
The campaign’s latest blood drive got a boost from KSH alumnus Cassidy Keli‘i who was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia (cancer of the blood) last fall. Keli‘i – who gave blood as a student – recorded a video plea encouraging the public to donate blood. On March 28, she posted to her Instagram page: “CANCER BEAT!”