Every summer blood banks are faced with a dangerously low blood supply, and the key reason being is that people are just too busy in the summer to take the time to donate. At least that is the reason I hear from most when I encourage them to donate, the second biggest reason is “I’m afraid of needles.”
This past Friday, my mom and I went to a local blood drive after seeing an article on the Patch. I might sound a little crazy, but we both agreed that it was quite relaxing. The entire process from walking through the door to getting back into the car took about an hour, and that was only because of the cookie table conversations. The hour I spent giving my pint of O+ will save at least one life. How many things can you do in an hour and say “Hey, I just saved a life”, there aren’t many.
I have been giving my pint of O+ every eight weeks since I started college, and I can safely say that it was not easy getting started. The first two times I donated in high school, I passed out at the cookie table, and ran into what one nurse referred to as “small people” problems with my tiny veins. But, I didn’t let this stop me, I kept drinking water and going back until one day I did something right in preparing for my donation, and had the best experience. Now donating is just like riding a bicycle for me, when I go to a donor center I am in and out in 20 minutes, blood drives take a little longer because they generally have a smaller staff. So don’t let one bad experience hold you back from trying again! You have nothing but a pint of blood to loose, and the human body can survive with 9 of its 12 pints, so it is safe to take a pint every so often. At the end you’ll be presented with all the cookies and snacks you could ask for; my personal favorite is the pineapple orange juice with some chocolate chip cookies!
So this summer, I’m sure you will have one afternoon that you can take to go to a blood drive. The American Red Cross has blood drives all over the place, and you can sign up on their website. http://www.redcrossblood.org/ . A little bit of your time, and a small pinch, will mean the world to a kid battling leukemia, a person suffering from a serious burn, or someone’s grandma recovering from open heart surgery.