The Special Benefits of Giving Blood

Given the tragic circumstances surrounding Haiti, and the devastation in that area, there has understandably been a huge outpouring of support for those poor people.  Unfortunately, one of my co-workers grew up in Haiti, and he still has family over there.  The support he has received at my work has been uplifting to him and his family.  At a time like this, it is not unusual to think seriously about how you can help out your fellow man.  Giving blood is a way you can do just that…

For the first 50 years of my life I had never given blood.  When my eldest daughter turned 17, she was eligible in our state, to give blood.  Without hesitation, she decided to donate.  I was intrigued by the fact that she decided to do this, given that neither I, nor my wife, had given blood in the past.  She simply wanted to help out her fellow


man and this was a substantive way for her to do so.  She didn’t have any money, but she did have something she could give that was more valuable.

Seeing how generous she had been, I decided, at the ripe age of 50, to give my first donation.  The fact that I waited this long to donate, was not for any particular reason.  I am not afraid of needles, and I don’t have any pre-existing conditions that would prevent me from donating.  I can’t really explain why I waited so long.  All I can say is that my eldest daughter inspired me to go make that first blood donation.  So, what are the benefits, you may ask?

You may help as many as three people with one donation.


This is the #1 aspect of giving blood that the Red Cross mentions in their literature.  Heck, if my blood helped out one person who needs it, that would be good enough for me.

You’ll get to spend some time with quality people.

Having given blood now on three occasions, you start seeing some of the same people at the donation center.  The volunteers tend to be elderly people who have been doing this for a very long time.  They are sweet people who like to socialize, and, at the same time, they also do their best to put people at ease, if needed.  The fellow donors will strike up a conversation at the drop of a hat, as you all wait to be called to donate.  It is a feeling of camaraderie that is not typically felt with strangers.  Then again, these people are not truly strangers.  They are fellow human beings doing something for a common cause; helping others.

You get free food!

At the donation center there is always a myriad of juices, bottled water, cookies, pretzels, etc.  It is important to replenish yourself after you donate, and to hydrate before and after.  Since I donate after work, there has always


been a meal served by the volunteers.  The last time I donated there was a full spaghetti dinner with sausages, meatballs, and rolls for the donors.  You get to sit with other donors and volunteers and socialize while you eat your meal.  It’s a great ending to a very gratifying experience.

You feel great afterwards.

Being around like-minded people, and doing something for your fellow man, is very fulfilling.  Even if you went into this with second thoughts, you will leave happy and content that you just did something so selfless.

If you have never given blood before, I urge you to consider it.  Go to the Red Cross Donating Blood website and learn more about how you can reach out and help your fellow man.

[note]Special Note from the RedCrossBlood.org website.
The American Red Cross is responding to the tragic earthquake in Haiti by providing first aid, food and water, emotional support and emergency relief supplies. The American Red Cross is providing blood and blood products this week at the request of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and will coordinate future requests for blood among its blood collector partners.
Red Cross Blood Services continues to meet the needs of this tragedy from our existing blood supply. At this time, we do not anticipate the need for a general donor appeal, but there is an urgent need for eligible donors with Type O negative blood to schedule a blood donation appointment as soon as possible. Type O negative blood is universal and can be given to anyone, regardless of their blood type and is often used in emergency situations. Blood donors are encouraged to call 1-800-RED CROSS.
[/note]

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17 thoughts on “The Special Benefits of Giving Blood”

  1. I love that your daughter inspired you! My son is an endless source of inspiration for me and I’m moved when I hear that other parents let their children inspire them.

    I have wanted to give blood for a long time but the first time I tried, I didn’t weigh enough. Imagine my disappointment to be rejected for my size! I’ve always been petite but to be too light to give blood doesn’t sound right to me. I haven’t tried to give again since as I still remember the weight I was told I needed to be and I’m afraid I’m just a few shy of it. I’m hoping a little weight-training will get me there…

    Reply
    • Isn’t it strange how that works Belinda? That our kids inspire us.. My daughter is also very thin and I remember that she was a bit woozy after giving blood one time. I think it is honorable that you tried to give blood. I hope you get to the weight you need to be because it is a gratifying experience. I guess they have their regulations for a reason but that doesn’t make it any easier to be rejected. Good luck.

      Best,
      Bob

      Reply
  2. I’m glad I inspired you to give blood! I think it is important to hold blood drives at high schools because, although most students are not eligible to donate due to age and sometimes weight (there are, in fact, strict new weight laws for people under the age of 19), it suggest the idea early. That is why I decided to donate.

    I hope your post inspires others, as it looks like it already has!

    Reply
    • Hi Honey,
      Glad you dropped by. Yes, speaking of weight, Belinda commented that she was unable to donate because of her weight, which was a shame for her. Yes, you certainly inspired me to donate and I’m glad we were able to go together when you were home last. It sounds like all is going well at college. I’m still waiting for that guest post… 🙂

      Love,
      Dada

      Reply
  3. hi bob,
    I give blood and at times i just feel completely tired and exhausted after the whole exercise. if i may add to your points, one could be a lifesaver. That statement is culled from an ad that’s currently aired on radio in London. The ad requests that people give blood, but emphasizes on those with the blood group of O-, to come forward because it’s lacking.
    Anyway, I dont have to to go too far, there’s a blood bank/center and hospital behind my house lol!!!
    take care then.
    .-= ayo´s last blog ..35 Benefits Of Laughter =-.

    Reply
    • Hi Ayo,
      That is strange because I have felt no ill effects from donating. I agree about the lifesaver comment. I’m glad you mentioned about the O – blood being needed for Haiti victims. You can read about it here at the Red Cross site. I really wanted to include this info in the post. In fact I just may go back and add to it.

      Best,
      Bob

      Reply
  4. This is a really interesting post for me because giving blood is something I recently added to my list of goals to achieve this year. I really dread the thought of the needle, but I don’t think I dread it enough to pass out from nervousness or anything like that – I just don’t like the idea but know I will get over it. I just want to do something good. I love what you wrote about meeting other people there, that makes me want to do it even more.
    .-= Ruth – Web Career Girl´s last blog ..Can You See the Bigger Picture? How Your Effort Will Pay Off In the Long Term =-.

    Reply
    • Hi Ruth,
      I KNOW that you can do it and it won’t be a problem. One thing I didn’t talk about was the kind nature of the Red Cross employees who draw the blood. They are very understanding of nervousness, especially for first-timers. After the needle is in there is no discomfort at all. Even the needle prick is nothing to speak of so try not to be too concerned. I’m happy that this is on your list of goals as it should be for all of us. The experience is something that you will find that you will want to repeat over and over. I’d love to see a post on your blog after you make your first donation.

      Best,
      Bob

      Reply
    • Hi Christine,
      I hope you do review your position. Bring along a friend or relative and it will help you get through it. The only small amount of pain is a small pin prick from the needle and that is all. The people are great and they will put you at ease, especially if you are a newbie. I know you can do it.. 🙂

      Best,
      Bob

      Reply
    • Great Jen. Another future donor. I have done my part but I’m really glad I’m reminding others to do theirs. Sometimes it just takes a little reminder…

      Best,
      Bob

      Reply
  5. Hi, Bob:

    That was a thoughtful blog and made me recall why, after so many years of giving blood annually, I stopped. I have no conditions that would have prevented a donation and have never had any ill effects until then. After giving that last time, I very nearly passed out, a highly unsettling feeling for me. My primary care doctor has since said that such a reaction is rare and that I should consider giving again. After your blog, I will. It’s still a very good act of public service, a small, personal and helpful thing that almost anyone can do.

    Reply
    • Awesome Ike. That is strange how you had that reaction. About the worse thing that happened to me was being maybe a little light-headed. But, after having something to eat, that went away quickly. I also try to hydrate while donating as well. That might help you out. There will be plenty of liquids, etc there to drink and eat. I’m glad you are going to consider giving. You can easily just go to redcrossblood.org and that is a page where you can locate the closest blood drive to you. Glad you’re going to give!

      Best,
      Bob

      Reply

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