MEDFIELD — Superintendent Jeffrey Marsden and Principal Nathaniel Vaughn are pleased to share that Medfield’s Blake Middle School held a blood drive in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day this year.
On MLK Day each year for the past 10-plus years, Blake Middle School organizes events to recognize the day as a Day of Service. In conjunction with the Day of Service, the school holds its annual blood drive, which is one of the largest drives in the area each year.
The Blake Middle School blood drive is coordinated by a blood drive committee comprised of Blake students and high school alumni and overseen by social studies teacher Cynthia McClelland. The committee works to recruit donors by making signs, posters and presentations to encourage fellow students to talk to their family members about the drive. They also follow up on all appointments that are made to ensure donors know they have a spot in the day’s donation schedule.
The student committee then organizes the day by setting up a child care center and bringing in baked goods for the refreshment and recovery area. Student volunteers are also trained on how to sign in and keep track of incoming donors.
Blake students who join the committee often continue the work throughout their high school years. Several of McClelland’s former students who now attend Medfield High School also return to help with the drive, overseeing the entire operation and making sure the middle school students are trained in their roles and that things run smoothly day of.
“Each year our Blake Middle School blood drive is truly a student-centered operation, and our middle school volunteers and alumni do an excellent job coordinating this important event,” McClelland said. “Students end the day of the drive feeling proud of themselves for having taken action to help make a difference in the world and helping to save lives. That is a priceless feeling for them and a great way to honor MLK Day as a day of service.”
This year, a total of 61 units of blood was donated by staff, parents and community members. Several Medfield High School students also made first-time donations.
According to the American Red Cross, blood supply is at one of the lowest levels it has been at in recent years, and all types of blood are critically needed to help people receive important medical treatments. Blood units from the Blake Middle School drive were collected by the Red Cross and then further distributed to where there is the greatest need.
“I am so proud of our student Blood Drive Committee members who worked hard to organize this drive and honor MLK Day by giving back to their community,” Principal Vaughn said. “Our Blake Middle School blood drive is an important, life-saving event each year and that is especially true this year due to the continued challenges presented by the pandemic as well as blood supply being at an all-time low. As always, we would like to express our heartfelt thanks and appreciation to the Medfield community for their outstanding show of support at this year’s blood drive.”