Vein Voyager: A Journey to Giving Back


The Vein Voyager rolled into Trippeer parking lot for the second blood drive of 2018 and the first of the 18-19 school year at Darlington this Monday.

“Darlington has a history of working with Blood Assurance, a non-profit, full-service blood center and typically does one or two blood drives each school year,” community service coordinator Kim Bell said.

While students receive service hours for donating, for some it was more about making an impact in the community.

“I felt like it wasn’t just necessary to give blood for the service hours, but that it was also a way for me to really help someone out there,” junior Caleb Baldwin said. “Lots of our service opportunities are nice and make people happier, but it’s so much more important and exciting when you know that giving blood could actually save someone’s life.”

Twenty-three students agreed to donate their blood, however, some were not allowed.

“I got deferred from the blood drive. Since I regularly visit a country, Nigeria, with a malaria epidemic, I can’t give blood in the US,” senior Jay Jay Ugbe said.

Bell feels that the annual blood drives are important as it gives the students the opportunity to give back now and in the future.

“Less than 10% of the population that is eligible to give blood actually donates. Blood drives are an important way to help continually replenish the blood supply which is used in our local hospitals in Rome and the surrounding areas,” Bell said. “Many people that donate blood for the first time at a school blood drive go on to donate regularly in the future.”

Some student’s emotions flowed as they overcame a lifelong fear through the blood drive.

“My experience went great even though I had to deal with a needle that I’m terrified of. The people are really funny and make sure you’re okay every second,” senior Gabby Fuller said.

The blood drive has a positive impact on the students, faculty and community of Rome.  Darlington’s relationship with Blood Assurance will continue annually.

“We had a fantastic turnout for the drive and helped save a lot of lives. We hope to have another blood drive in the Spring,” Bell said.