One of things I have always tried to do is give back to the community. I know I can't save the world alone but if I can do a little, it's better than sitting back and doing nothing. Amanda and I donate money to support the local community along with our two World Vision children but this post is about something else that money can not buy and something that could potential save someone's life - donating blood.
I have been a blood donor for approx 17 years now. It all started when I was in 10th or 11th grade. The school asked for volunteers to donate blood and that all students that went would miss the last class of the day. I looked at my schedule and realized that was maths class so I was already interested. Then they announced you got free milkshakes and that they are some of the best milkshakes Tamworth has to offer. I believe at that point I was off my chair and running to get a consent form as I am a sucker for a good milkshake. I was a little nervous but it didn't hurt too much and a short while later I had completed my first donation. When I lived in Australia the ladies would schedule my next appointment so I wouldn't forget to show up. In my current city I don't live close enough to a blood bank so my donations are a little more sporadic and dependent on nearby blood drives.
|This machine is used to collect|
platelets and then returns the rest
of the blood to the donor.
So why do I donate blood and platelets? Mostly because it's something I can do to help out those in need. I donate blood because I would never want someone to be in an accident or surgery and not be able to get the blood they need to survive or get through surgery. There is no synthetic blood or substitute so if not enough donors step up there is a real possibility that there will be no blood when someone needs it. I donate platelets because they use them primarily for cancer patients and both my mum and mum-in-law have been affected by cancer and I would like to help out others who are affected by this terrible illness.
If you have thought about donating blood or platelets and haven't done it yet I encourage you to make an appointment or go to a blood drive. If you haven't donated in a while, why not find a blood drive near you? Here's some links to help you out:
American Red Cross
http://www.redcrossblood.org/donating-blood Info about donating blood. This should answer a lot of your questions that you may have.
http://www.redcrossblood.org/make-donation Easy way to find a blood bank or blood drive near you.
http://www.redcrossblood.org/donating-blood/types-donations/platelet-donation More information about platelet donation.
Australian Red Cross
http://www.donateblood.com.au/ Information about donating blood to the Australian Red Cross
https://www.donateblood.com.au/ready-to-donate/make-appointment/blood/step1 Make an appointment online for blood, plasma or platelet donations.
http://www.donateblood.com.au/about-blood/apheresis Information about plasma or platelet donations.
Check out the links above and consider making a donation soon. It costs nothing and the reward is the chance to save one life or even more with a single donation. Remember only about 3% of eligible adults make regular donations and many of us will need a blood transfusion at some point in our lives.