Today I visited the Red Cross and donated a pint of blood. It was my 88th donation, meaning I’ve donated 11 gallons of liquid. Of course this is over my adult lifetime.
My mom has set a good example by donating regularly. There were times she couldn’t give, like when she was on malaria pills after a trip out of the country and when she was on medicine that prevents you from donating. She is still a regular donor, choosing instead to do apheresis, where the blood is filtered through an apparatus that separates out platelets and other items that are needed and returns the remainder of the blood to the circulation. She has donated 200+ times. If you are doing apheresis, you can give more frequently than the 8 weeks between donations for whole blood.
When I was unemployed, I cut back on all my monetary donations. I felt bad about this but I needed to make sure I was OK financially before supporting some of the causes I believe in. I was glad that I could still donate blood during that time. It costs nothing but time to give blood.
I wish more people would donate their blood. I know there are people who legitimately can’t. Some don’t meet the height and weight requirements. Some are afraid of needles and blood. Some are on medications. Some don’t have enough iron in their blood.
If everyone who was eligible to give blood gave even once a year, the issues with short blood supplies would greatly improve. The Red Cross came to my old place of employment, making it even easier for me to donate. I realize that’s not the case for everyone. Check with your local Red Cross. There are donations scheduled all over and at different days and times, making it easier for you to find a place and time that works for you. In New York state, you can see a list of of locations and donation times here.
Think about giving some of yours up…even once. It will only cost you about an hour.