Ten Good Reason I Donated Blood--Which One Works For You?

pete townsendGive Blood...

...But don't expect to ever see reward.

Pete Townsend-1986

I dropped a pint Tuesday afternoon. 500 ml of rich red A Positive, ready to be tested, packaged, and split off into a variety of components--red blood cells, plasma, platelets. I will barely notice it is gone, but a few strangers will benefit. To paraphrase an old Doritos ad "Take all you want, I'll make more."

What are my reasons for getting out to donate blood a few times a year? Here are 10:

  1. Blood Centers don't pay for volunteer donations, but sometimes there is a surprise inside. This time I received a coupon for a pint of Baskin-Robbins Ice Cream.  A pint of red cells for a pint of Jamoca® Almond Fudge is the deal of the week.
  2. Sometimes the donation can open a whole new world. My donation on the 10th anniversary of 9/11 earned free admission to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY. My friend who decided at the last minute he wasn't eligible to donate was gifted with free admission too, just for thinking about it. Rest assured he has paid for that free admission with half a decade of verbal abuse.
  3. My first boss, Dr. Earl Suckow, was a founder of North Suburban Blood Center, a progenitor of what has become Lifesource. Old Earl had a rough edge to him, and he has been gone for many years, but I never donate without thinking of him.
  4. I have a fantasy that Ed McMahon will suddenly appear and hand me a $20,000,000 check for being the 10,000th donor of the year. The chances of this fantasy coming true are in no way diminished by the fact Mr. McMahon has been dead since 2009.
  5. Donating a unit of whole blood is a snap. I have donated some other components in the past, and that can be a bit rough, but a simple unit of Raff Red, Vintage 2016? Easy.
  6. At the donor center you are shown a list of exotic countries that have exotic blood borne diseases. These are places the CDC probably doesn't want you to visit. Good to know when planning your next vacation.
  7. A pound of body weight flows right out your arm.
  8. Little Debbie Snack Cakes on the post donation refreshment table! So much for #7.
  9. That one pint is enough blood for Theranos Lab and its CEO Elizabeth Holmes to run approximately 3 quintillion lab tests using the revolutionary Edison Technology. Of course all the results will be wrong.
  10. I feel great, knowing you have helped someone, somewhere recover from surgery or battle a chronic illness. I can wear the "I Gave Blood Today" sticker with pride.

If any of my reasons strike a chord, sign up the next time a Blood Center road show comes to town. And feel free to comment below on the reasons why YOU donate.

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