No, I'm not a vampire. I have not even read or seen anything from Twilight.
I mean donating blood.
Did you know...
...every 2-3 seconds, someone needs blood?
...on any any given day, an average of 38,000 units of red blood cells are needed?
...blood must be available to the patient at the instant it is needed?
...donating blood only takes one hour of your time every 8 weeks?
Many people donate blood in times of disaster, but what about the man in the hospital right now needing a transfusion during surgery? Or the little girl who lost a lot of blood in a car accident last night? They need blood too. And they can't wait.
I started donating blood as soon as I was old enough - 17 is the current age limit - and a blood drive was held at our school. The whole process didn't bother me one bit, so I figured I'd just keep doing it as often as I could. Didn't hurt me and helped lots of people. Good deal.
I continued giving through college, after we got married, while I was teaching and only stopped when I was pregnant. Darn babies have hampered by giving in the past few years! Only kidding, of course.
But - not being pregnant and all - I was happy to be back giving this year. And every eight weeks, we head to our Community Blood Bank...
We get lots of smiles when they see us coming. We are quite a sight making our way in.
The workers are so friendly and accommodating for a mom with two small children. This week, Katie was the one taking my donation...
...and taking pictures of me...
...and getting the information I wanted for this post. Thank you Katie! You rock!
Here is the whole process of donating one pint of blood...
The actual blood donation part of your visit takes about ten minutes, but from registration...
to the cookies and juice afterwards...
...you'll be there about an hour. I even get free lunch out of the deal!
I bet you're wondering "Didn't you say your children go with you? What do they do during all of this?" Great question.
This is what they do...
They eat. They entertain the workers and other people donating. And they love it.
I told Big J we were going to the blood bank a day ahead of time and he asked me all day - "Are we going now?" "No, tomorrow buddy." "Maybe tonight?"
One time, I left the kids with a friend to make the whole process a little less frantic. The first question I was asked when I walked in the door - "Where are your kids?" And the last thing said to me before I left - "Make sure you bring those kiddos with you next time!"
I guess they enjoy the kids too.
To be honest, I like giving blood because it is something I know I can do to help someone, but if it weren't for workers like Katie and Dale (one of the kids' favorites), I don't know that I would keep going back so regularly. So I want to thank all of the workers at our community blood bank for making it such a wonderful experience for all of us...
And I give them some of the credit for the fact that I reached this milestone...
I know some of you might get creeped out by the whole thought of donating blood. And that's ok. It's not for everyone. But if it doesn't bother you or you've never given it a shot, call your blood bank. Make an appointment. NOW.
Each time you donate blood, you may be saving up to three lives.
There is no easier way to make a life-saving difference in someone else's life.
Thank you to the Community Blood Bank for providing me with statistics for this post and allowing me to take pictures at their facility.
In our area, there is currently a critical need for O negative blood donations.
To make an appointment to donate blood in your community, visit your community blood bank or the American Red Cross.