By David Slone
WARSAW — Three leaders of Warsaw Community High School Health Occupations Students of America — Future Health Professionals wanted to get the word out about an upcoming blood drive, so they gave a presentation to the city council Monday night, July 17.
The group included Addison Whitaker, historian; Sophia Lunsford, president; and Titiksha Gorhe, co-president.
“So for those of you who don’t know, HOSA is for future health professionals,” Lunsford said.
Gorhe explained, “It is a CTSO club, which stands for Career and Technical Student Organization. This just means that we’re a career-focused club and that everything is student-led, so all of our committee meetings and all the organizations, all the committee stuff that we do, is all student led and the meetings are also student-run.”
She said it’s a nonprofit club and is for students who are interested in health care. HOSA is the medical equivalent of clubs like FFA or BPA.
Some of the things they do throughout the year, Lunsford said, include a state competition in April with over 100 events for students to participate in and community service throughout the year. Some of the community service activities include helping out at the elementary schools and ringing the bell for The Salvation Army.
This year they’re adding HOSA chapters within Lakeview and Edgewood middle schools to mentor those students and help them grow into leaders.
“We also are very passionate about the blood drives that take place at our school and in the community. We help run these and organize them, which we always have so much fun doing,” Lunsford said.
Blood donation is a voluntary procedure where blood is extracted, she said. A pint of donated blood is equivalent to three units and one unit can save one life.
“Why should you consider donating? When you’re donating you’re not only giving back to your community, which I’m sure all of you guys do in various different ways, but you’re also being able to save lives, so why wouldn’t you do it?” Lunsford said.
Without blood donations, about 4.5 million citizens would die annually, she said.
After Gorhe addressed the common questions and concerns about blood donation, Whitaker said their community blood drive will be from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 12 at WCHS in the TRAC gym. Each donation will take about a half hour, with the actual blood draw taking only about 8 to 10 minutes of that time.
Mayor Joe Thallemer thanked the students for coming in and acknowledged that there’s an obvious blood shortage and every bit helps.
He asked if the blood donation event on Aug. 12 was run through the American Red Cross. Lunsford said it’s through the Indiana Blood Center.
To sign up to give a donation, she suggested people could email her [email protected] or find their Instagram under Warsaw HOSA and the link will be sent.