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Posted on Feb 10, 2012

Blood Drive Provides Many Lessons

Can the success of yesterday’s blood drive be attributed to the laws of physics, mathematical phenomena, or something even greater?

The idea of the drive started as a pebble thrown into a pond by one teacher three years ago as a way to support a Gillispie family whose daughter was battling a recurrence of cancer. The family is healthy and well with children now in middle school, but the inspiration from the first drive caused a ripple effect, much like waves passing through water or air–one good deed so often leads to another, and then another.

Or perhaps a metaphor for this year’s drive should be a mathematics lesson on geometric progression? Now involved are two third grade classes representing twenty-seven ambitious students and two dedicated teachers. Additionally, every third grade family contributed baked goods to the event and seventeen parent volunteers took shifts supervising the student sales force. Parent Kelli F. packaged treats the afternoon before and the day of, showing that everything looks better with a ribbon and cellophane; three families baked delectable raffle prizes.

This year’s undertaking also taught us about flexibility and an open mindset—a half-hour before the drive was to start, the truck carrying all of the equipment broke down, so the event shifted from its intended location of the gym to a re-routed blood bank bus. Quickly, administrators (some in heals and some in ties) moved folding tables and chairs to the south parking lot.

Third graders learned the importance of setting and meeting goals and the thrill of exceeding expectations; every few hours throughout the day I was informed by very excited students of the grand total from the sales of raffle tickets and baked goods. Sixth graders practiced graciousness in greeting donors they knew with, “Hello, Mrs. A. or Mr. Z, thank you for doing this,” and in welcoming strangers to Gillispie with, “Hello, we are glad you are here.”

In all, over $2,000 was raised for the San Diego Blood Bank and 46 pints of blood were drawn, with an additional 12 donors registering for future donations—all record totals for the School. The vast majority of donors represented our own Gillispie parents, teachers, and staff. A huge thank you goes to Mrs. Hurley and Mrs. Davis for bringing us together for a noble cause. More than a science, math, or economics lesson, this annual event proves that the whole of a community is greater than the sum of its parts. Thank you to all who participated in whatever way to the success of this drive.

Alison Fleming
Head of School

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