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Senior Effie Giannoudakos donates blood during the October drive.

Interact Club gives back to community

Interact Club is a community-service based organization allowing students to participate in volunteer projects for the West Chicago Park District, Versiti Blood Centers, and other local resources that seek aid for the surrounding community. 

Volunteers await the Interact blood drive, which partners the high school with Versiti. (Photo courtesy of Reagan Boorsma)

In October, Interact Club again hosted their annual blood drive in the Bishop Gym, providing life-saving resources for people in need. Students from any age group could donate blood, and many served as volunteers as well.

“Just knowing that you can simply donate your blood, and saving up to three lives, whether it be for someone with health issues or someone that is in an accident that needs an emergency blood transfusion, you know, it’s pretty good,” said Interact Club adviser Gavin Engel, a counselor at West Chicago Community High School.

In previous years, the blood drive occurred twice, once in the fall and again in the spring. Volunteers sign students up in advance, and help run the event. Student volunteers are also able to donate blood themselves, if desired.

The club also hosts a yearly coat drive, asking students and staff to donate gently-used or new coats for those in need. The club received 38 coats, as well as hats and gloves, a large shoe donation from Spanish teacher Elizabeth Mastroianni. The annual drive allowed the high school to partner with the Rotary Club of West Chicago, which provided the two donation boxes in addition to collecting coats on its own. In December, the Lions Club distributed the donations to families in need at the ARC Center in West Chicago.

While Interact Club centers around community service, club members are not required to volunteer for every activity.

“If something sparks your interest, like supporting the Diabetes Foundation, then definitely volunteer for that because you’re going to get a lot out of it by doing that,” said Engel.

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