A recent blood drive, hosted by local teen Sara Schatz, took place at Young Israel of Teaneck. Schatz, a 17-year-old Bruriah student, single-handedly organized the drive. She filled out an online application to host the blood drive in late March, and a representative contacted her about finalizing it.
“Blood donations have helped me in the past, and when I learned that I couldn’t donate myself I wanted to help in a different way. The Red Cross has this program called ‘leaders save lives,’ which encourages high school and college students to host blood drives in their communities during the summer months,” Schatz said.
There is a drastic decrease in blood donations during the summer, because many people are on vacation. This drive was to honor the memory of Schatz’s grandmother, Mary Schatz a”h, who dedicated her whole life to giving blood, and formed multiple blood drives of her own. “I think it’s really nice that people will take time out of their day to give blood,” Sara continued.
Schatz’s mother, Devorah, said, “I think it’s remarkable that a 17-year-old was able to accomplish this kind of project, something many adults couldn’t do. Sara has always been involved in similar projects like Friendship circle, The Midnight Run, and Tomchei Shabbos.”
Schatz’s friends are supportive of her, and several came to volunteer and donate at the blood drive. “It’s beautiful how Sara took the initiative to do such a selfless act,” Sophia Stepansky, one of her friends, said.
The donors came from New York and various towns in New Jersey, such as Teaneck and Highland Park, to participate in the event. After each donation, every donor received a $5 gift card to Dunkin’ Donuts, and a $2.50 coupon for Turkey Hill gelato ice cream. The drive was successful in collecting blood donations from 68 people. The amount of people in attendance was so overwhelming that the drive ran out of equipment. In total, 28 pints of blood were collected.
By Amanda Leifer