Two students from New Hyde Park Memorial High School have been combating the shortage of blood because of the coronavirus outbreak.
Aarti Devjani and Preesha Mody, both seniors, coordinated a seven-week virtual blood drive through the New York Blood Center in which individuals could schedule appointments to give blood through the center's website. The drive allowed participants to stay safe and socially distance while helping their community, the students said.
As of late September, about 35 people had donated blood to the students' drive, which ends Oct. 15. The duo has also raised more than $3,600 for the center through a GoFundMe page.
"This idea started in the middle of quarantine when we realized no one's going anywhere," Mody said. "Then my dad actually sent me this article about how there's a shortage of blood, so we though 'let's do something about it.'"
The students then spread the word through social media — including Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat — and hung flyers in "every grocery store that would let us," Mody said.
Devjani and Mody are members of their school's National Junior Honor Society, Science Honor Society and Science Olympiad Club. Devjani has also volunteered at NYU Winthrop Hospital in Mineola, and Mody has volunteered at Stamford Hospital in Connecticut.