There are many reasons why you should donate blood. Donating blood is the most special gift you can give to someone you know or a complete stranger. Why? Because it is the gift of life. It is a gift you can give someone but also one you may be receiving one day. In my mind and in my heart there was never a question as to why. I’ve always seen it as the right thing to do… thing is, I never could since I was always under 110lbs, which is the weight limit for blood donation. Thankfully, in 2016 I surpassed 110lbs and, I promise you, I went straight to a blood donation center. I was so happy.
Now, let me backtrack a bit to say that today a dear friend asked me why I donate blood. Pause. She had a bit of a tone.. A tone that took me by surprise and made me stutter and not give her the proper and smart answer. Ugh, you know when somebody confronts you with something and you just freeze? Yeah, that was me. This blog post is the response I didn’t give her right there and then. I am not getting into religious arguments here. I believe each person does what they think is right for them. So, aside from religious reasons, in this post I want to give you three good reasons why you should donate blood and feel good about it:
1- It’s An Act of Kindness
Most of us want to do what is right. A lot of us want to donate to charity and give back to the community. What better way to give back than to donate your blood to save lives? According to the WHO (World Health Organization) blood transfusion is needed for:
- women with complications of pregnancy, such as ectopic pregnancies and hemorrhage before, during or after childbirth;
- children with severe anemia often resulting from malaria or malnutrition;
- people with severe trauma following man-made and natural disasters; and
- many complex medical and surgical procedures and cancer patients.
No, you do not get a tax credit (I promise my friend asked me that) but you get credit for being good and doing something good for someone else.
2- You Are Saving Someone’s Life
Only 37% of the population in the United States is eligible to give blood, and less than 10% of those who can donate actually do donate annually. What if you or a loved one is the one in need of blood transfusion? We tend to think nothing will happen to us. After the shooting at the gay club in Orlando early this year, most of us were exposed to the reality of the necessity of blood donation. Blood banks are in desperate need of blood today. Let’s not wait for a tragedy to happen before we realize we have to do something. If you are eligible to donate, do so. I am in Atlanta, Georgia and I tend to donate at Life South Community Blood Centers but the American Red Cross can be found anywhere in the United States and in the world. There are other options so, find out what’s closest to you and go out and do your part!
3- You Get A Free Mini Check-Up
Before you donate blood, you have to go through a mini physical where they will check our blood pressure, pulse, temperature, and hemoglobin levels. After you donate blood, your blood will undergo 13 different tests for infectious diseases including HIV and STDs. Oh, they also check your cholesterol, too. Of course you should not donate blood to get free tests but it is a bonus, for sure. You can donate blood every three months, which means, you will be tested every three months. If, for whatever reason, they find something, you will be notified. Otherwise, you can feel comfortable knowing that you are clean.
I hope after reading this you feel compelled to, at least, learn more about blood donation. I am doing my part to save a life. Are you?