[liff] Literally Giving Of Yourself: Donating Blood

2230.Latterly I, for the first time in my life, donated blood.

As someone who is always critically short of funds but wanting to do at least something good and altrustic, I try to find ways I can give of myself. When you donate blood, this is literally what you’re doing. And you hear a great deal about how giving blood helps, but I found some nifty figures that tell you exactly how your blood donation might help:

  • One blood donation can help save up to 3 lives.
  • You can consider yourself elite: only 3 percent of the US population who can, does.
  • If you do it twice, consider yourself doubly elite: less than 30% who give once give again.
  • Donated blood has a shelf-life of about 42 days.
  • Every 2 seconds someone in America needs your gift.
  • You can give blood up to 6 times a year.

If you just want to do something selfless, and would give scads of money to worthy causes if you only had it, you can give blood at any income level and whatever politics you play, whatever creed you follow, whatever color your skin is, no matter how smart you, no matter what you think.

My blood type is O+. It’s the most common blood type in America (about 38% of the populus carry it), and if you think that having a “common” blood type makes you unremarkable, that ain’t true, kiddo; since more people have it, more people need it. It’d be bragging rights to have a rare blood type, but this is one place where you’re even more important if you’re Everydude. You also do more for everyone as Type O, because every blood type can accept Type O (especially Type O-, which they call the “universal donor” and is actually about the rarest, so, yeah, you can brag about that one mah dawgs).

Strangely, the stats I checked tell me that where almost 40% of Americans are Type O+, almost fifty per cent of Saudi Arabians are. Things that make you go hmmm, yes?

Anyway. Everyone has blood. Almost everyone can give blood. It’s as easy as going to the Oregon Red Cross and finding out where to do it (or they can direct you to the nearest blood drive – just click on where it says Give Blood). If you prefer not to do it via the webby thing, the Oregon Red Cross headquarters is located over near Emanuel Hospital, at 3131 N. Vancouver Avenue. Call them on the ringy-dingy-thingy at 503-284-1234.

I now wear that little plastic blood-drop with the Red Cross logo on it with offical ZehnKatzen Smug Pride™, which I think you’re entitled to if you know your donation is going to save up to three people’s lives.

This is something every human being who can, should do.

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