I'm not really the kind of blogger (or person) who tells other adults what to do (the kids are fair game, obviously), but I think I'm becoming an unofficial ambassador for the Red Cross.

If you're eligible to donate blood, you can make an appointment online right this second on the Red Cross website. Setting up an account, finding a blood drive/donation center, and making an appointment takes less than five minutes. The actual donation--from pretending to read the materials they hand you to scarfing down that second pack of Chips Ahoy--takes about an hour.

Most of you reading this have given birth (or witnessed it, something I'm not even crazy enough to do), so I don't want to hear any whining about needles or pain.


Here's why:
  • On average, roughly 40,000 units of blood are needed each day across this country to help patients suffering from trauma, illnesses, and injuries.
  • American Red Cross Blood Services must collect enough blood each and every day to meet the needs of accident victims, cancer patients, surgical candidates, children with blood disorders, and others.
  • Type O blood is the most common blood type. Approximately 38% of people in the United States are type O positive and 7% are type O negative.
  • In an emergency, anyone can receive type O red blood cells. People with type O blood are known as “universal donors.”
  • Each year, the Red Cross collects approximately 6 million units of blood, from roughly 4 million volunteer blood donors.
  • From these donations, the Red Cross distributes around 9.5 million blood products each year to patients at approximately 3,000 hospitals and transfusion centers across the country.
For me, giving blood is almost a form of therapy that helps me deal with losing my older brother to leukemia in 2006. I participated in my first blood drive after he received the first of many, many units he would need just to function throughout his illness. They only let you donate you every eight weeks, so it took me half a year to pay back those first three bags that some stranger provided so I could have him around a little longer. I haven't done the math, but it might take a lifetime to match the total donations he received. And he was just one out of millions of patients.

This post isn't really about my brother and me. Although this loss is significant as you get to know me, and it may come up later, that's not the purpose here. And I'm not quite ready to discuss it further on here. Comments are closed, just because. Express yourself by doing your part as a donor or volunteer. Thanks.

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