Calexico High School Students Break a Record by Giving

By Luke Phillips

Calexico High School students showed their giving nature Tuesday and were able to break a record while they were at it.

125 students showed up to give blood at a blood drive hosted by the American Red Cross at Calexico High School. Red Cross workers collected 99 units of blood in two mobile blood drive stations. One bus collected 59 units, which was a record for high school blood drives, and the other collected 40 units, which was a record for that bus.

Carina Kagan, account manager for the Red Cross San Diego/Imperial Valley Chapter, was on hand to sign students up for the drive and praised their eagerness to help.

“We’ve just had a huge outpouring of first-time donors,” Kagan said. “The kids here are awesome. I don’t think we’re going to have enough blood bags. I think we’re going to run out.”

At least 25 students were turned away due to lack of blood bags, but Kagan was able to sign them up for the next drive, planned for May 13. Calexico students hope to break the record for high school donations in the region set by Mar Vista High School in Imperial Beach by collecting more than 200 units of blood at the May 13 drive.

Calexico High School student Laura Rioseco said she was a little nervous about getting poked with a needle, but was still more than willing to help.

“I know that if I needed that blood someone would give it to me,” Rioseco said. “I think if you do something good, something good will happen to you.”

Junior Erika DeAnda was also happy to give to those in need.

“Other people need it more than I do,” DeAnda said. “Other people could die, and I have all this blood.”

According to an email sent out by Kagan, the blood donated by Calexico High School students is enough to save 297 lives.

“They didn’t have to run into a burning building or dive into a pit of sharks to be heroes either,” Kagan said.

Calexico High School teacher Frank Noriega, who helped to organize the blood drive, says that CHS students are always big contributors to any good cause.

“The kids here are just so awesome,” he said. “They are very used to this idea of giving back.”