I came home today and was happy to receive my American Red Cross blood donor card in the mail! I gave blood for the first time in early July after many months of saying that I was going to start giving, and the partnership the has with the --Caring is Cool--was a big push for me to take finally the leap.
I had a horrible first experience having blood taken in college because the nurse at my doctor’s office rolled my vein, resulting in a very painful experience and a black elbow for about a month. I know that these things don’t always happen, but it put a sour taste in my mouth for having to give blood unless absolutely necessary! But this happened so many years ago, I knew I just had to get over it. My boyfriend gives regularly, and every time he went to give blood I would feel so guilty… especially because I know I am type O- and thus a universal donor.
My experience giving blood about a month ago turned out to be such a pleasant one! The receptionist greeted with me a smile, and my nurse (also named Amanda) talked me through every step of the process and made me feel at ease the entire time. I came in late in the day to donate, but they didn’t make me feel rushed and even encouraged me to stay as long as I needed to before leaving afterwards.
But back to my new donor card… I generally don’t read mailings when they come in, but I thought this was one to stop for—and I’m glad I did. I have been proud about my leap into donor-hood and am looking forward to donating again when I’m eligible, but did you know that only 30% of first time donors come back to give blood a second time? That’s astounding. You know what else is astounding? The American Red Cross’ blood supply is at an all-time low right now—the supply is lower than is has been in over 15 years.
I am eligible to give blood again on August 31, which means I’ll be able to give blood twice during our Caring is Cool campaign. If you are eligible to give blood today, what’s holding you back? You could save the lives of three people by taking an hour out of one day this week. I think those three people would thank you for your one hour of time if they could, don’t you?
The Caring is Cool Campaign is a summer partnership between the Athens Area Humane Society and the American Red Cross’ Athens Blood Donor Center. Now through September 30, you can give blood to save people’s lives, and while you’re there, you can drop off donations for the AAHS Wish List, pet food for the Food Bowl or used shoes for our Back to School shoe recycling program.
Please visit www.AthensHumaneSociety.org to learn more about our programs and ways you can help animals in our community.