Sacred Hearts Academy  |   Honolulu, Hawaii

Ka Leo

Sacred Hearts Academy  |   Honolulu, Hawaii

Ka Leo

Sacred Hearts Academy  |   Honolulu, Hawaii

Ka Leo

The Academy’s blood drive gives a second chance at life

Senior Jenica Wong wears the blood drop costume to invite students to participate in the raffle. The raffle was a fun trivia to test how much students knew about the blood donation process and its outcomes. Photo by Kaiulani Ferrer.

Did you know that every pint of blood donated through blood drives can save three lives? Before spring break, Sacred Hearts Academy hosted its second blood drive of the year, saving 57 lives. 

The original goal was to have at least 50 donors, coordinator and science teacher Laura Housman said. Although the goal wasn’t reached, eight students, nine faculty members, and two community members donated. 

Senior Reagan Beissel squeezes her fist to get the blood pumping. For the blood drive, she set a record for filling a pint the fastest. It took her three minutes. Photo by Jenica Wong.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, someone in the U.S. needs blood every two seconds. However, with an estimated 6.8 million people in the U.S. donating every year, there is still always a need for donors, according to the American Red Cross Blood Services.

During the Academy’s drive, students above the age of 16 were invited to donate blood. Although the underclassmen were not yet eligible to donate, they were encouraged to ask a parent to donate and stay educated about the need for blood donors in Hawaii. 


Students donated blood at the Lower School Library. The process included filling out medical information, taking a blood test, and finally donating blood if all went well. Following that, donors were able to rest to ensure their safety. After the allotted time, donors received snacks and water and were told safety precautions in continuing their day and caring for themselves. 

Housman said that after the pandemic, people hesitated to donate, so lower numbers were expected. There were 44 donations in February 2019 and 51 in February 2020. Following the pandemic, 32 people donated in March 2023, 24 in November 2023, and 19 during this year’s March blood drive. 

With the low numbers, Housman says, “There is not much awareness of the need for donations in our community. If you or someone you know are not personally affected by this issue, you will less likely donate. Also, students and other first-time donors are nervous about the donation process.”

Faculty Coordinator Laura Housman signs in donors during the blood drive. This is her fifth year coordinating the blood drive at the Academy. Photo by Jenica Wong.

The Blood Bank of Hawaii started in 1941, originally named, “The Honolulu Blood Plasma Bank.” It opened for donation on June 25, 1941.

A few months later, the attack on Pearl Harbor proved the efforts of the blood bank to be helpful to the situation. In addition to the pints of lifesaving blood and plasma, more than 700 people lined up to donate at Queen’s Hospital following the attack. 

“My dad is in the (U.S.) Army, and he’s the only one who survived an accident, where he needed a lot of blood,” said collections specialist team lead Marie Espenshade. “I started donating for that (reason).” She has been with the Blood Bank of Hawaii for three years. 

Ferrer hosted a raffle to encourage more students to donate. Participants could enter by completing a worksheet about blood donation facts, using the poster board filled with the information. The winners received a Taste Tea gift card.

Senior Kaiulani Ferrer grabs some “I Save Lives” wristbands during the drive. During lunch, she passed them out to the school community to spread awareness about the importance of donating blood. Photo by Jenica Wong.

“With graduation just around the corner, I hope to inspire the students at Sacred Hearts to donate not only their blood but also their time and efforts, so that the blood drive can continue at the Academy,” Ferrer said.

About the Contributor
Jenica Wong
Jenica Wong, Reporter
Jenica Wong is a first-year Journalism student and a senior at the Academy. As a journalist, she hopes to advocate for those who want to be listened to or those who need a voice. She also wants to spread awareness about current events and introduce topics she’s passionate about with the hope of sparking that interest in readers. In her free time, she participates in school-affiliated athletics, division council and National Honor Society council and anything arts-related such as music, dance and theater/film. She also greatly appreciates STEM, which she engages in during math meets, robotics and aeronautics. One fun fact about her is that she is passionate about going green and cutting down on plastic waste. With that, she is always looking for eco-friendly alternatives and ways to recycle to save our planet. 
View Comments (2)
More to Discover

Comments (2)

All Ka Leo Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • Ka’iulani FerrerApr 16, 2024 at 1:30 pm

    Great article, wonderfully written and informative!! Thank you for bringing awareness to this important cause!!

    • Jenica WongApr 17, 2024 at 2:48 pm

      I appreciate how much time and effort you took to make this blood drive a success, just sharing about this great cause! Thank you again for allowing me to interview you.