I remember the first time I heard about donating blood. It was in my government class in junior year of high school. My teacher promised extra credit to students who could beat his donation time, i.e., the time it took to donate a pint of blood. I wasn’t eligible at that time, but it was my first exposure that I was carrying something around every day that could save lives.
I stopped while I was pregnant both times and while I was nursing, but now that my body is more or less mine again, I donate blood every eight weeks.
I donate in honor of:
- My friend’s wife, who had breast cancer and leukemia, who received blood products for a year
- My mother-in-law, who got a blood transfusion after having stomach surgery
- My friend, who got a blood transfusion when she hemorrhaged after giving birth to her daughter
There is a great need for voluntary blood donors:
- 1 pint (one donation) can save up to three lives
- Every 2 seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood
- A single car accident victim can require as many as 100 pints of blood
If you are interested in donating blood, but don’t know where to go, click to find local Red Cross.
I understand that some people may be concerned that donating blood hurts. To me, it feels like a hard pinch, considerably less painful than giving birth, being head-butted by my daughter, or stubbing my toe.
There’s usually free water, juice, and cookies. In the past I’ve also gotten a free AMC movie ticket, coupons to local restaurants and stores, and free T-shirts.
If you aren’t eligible to donate, or would prefer to help in other ways, there are many opportunities. You can:
- Donate money or volunteer your time at a center
- Organize a blood drive with your church group, book club, mommy group, etc.
- Wear some swag to encourage people to donate (I have a license plate frame from my local blood bank)
- Tweet or post reminders on Facebook for your followers and friends to donate (Anne Wheaton invited her Twitter followers to honor her birthday by donating blood.)
I will be turning 40 years old in a few months. I would be honored if people would donate blood (or money, or time, or publicity for a blood bank). There are over 16 weeks until the end of the year, which means those willing could donate blood twice in that time.
Would you be willing to donate in some way to a blood center by the end of this year?