Desert Vista blood drive
In January, DV junior Timothy Lee gives blood for the first time at a blood drive sponsored by the Key Club. A record 200 students donated blood. Brian Johnson/AFN

Desert Vista High School’s student-led service club is seeking more community involvement for its blood drive next week.

Partnering with United Blood Services, the Desert Vista Key Club has held blood drives since 2000, and continues to offer them once every semester.

“It’s one of the biggest events for our club,” said senior Zak Ferrara, president of the Key Club.

The student volunteers plan and coordinate the events themselves with successful turnouts, and are welcoming more adults from the community or other kids to donate.

“We’re constantly pushing to increase the number of our donors,” said Jessica Tueller, the club’s vice president.

The fall semester blood drive is set for Sept. 18 at Desert Vista’s small gym, an environment Ferrara said he prefers over usual donation buses.

Ferrara was first introduced to the blood drives at his school as a freshman, and remembers the atmosphere in the gym where kids were seated all over the gym floor at stations.

“I really loved seeing people put aside the fear of giving blood,” said Ferrara. “It’s awesome to see people put someone else ahead of them.”

One donation, according to Ferrara, can save three lives after the blood is separated into platelets, plasma and blood cells.

In an effort to support each donor, the club prepares and sets up food stations for those who donate during the drives.

Ferrara said the club tries to go “above and beyond” for each drive, hoping to give each donor a great experience.

The Key Club is a high school section part of Kiwanis International, a worldwide volunteer organization. In addition to the blood drives, the club also lends a hand to food banks and the Ahwatukee Festival of Lights, among other places.

“We really do believe service is one of the most rewarding things to do,” Ferrara added.

A regular donor himself, who admits to sitting in the donation chair amidst making sure the drive goes smoothly, Ferrara said the drives have become a passion.

Though in his last year before college, Ferrara wants to stay as involved as he can, encouraging donors and volunteers.

“And hopefully it will make them want to be donors for the rest of their lives,” Ferrara said.

The Desert Vista Key Club blood drive will be in the school’s small gym, 16440 S. 32nd St., on Tuesday, Sept. 18, from 7:30 to 11:30 a.m.

Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or

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