This I Believe

Racheal - Norfolk, Virginia
Entered on November 9, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

“Donating Life”

I believe in the power of giving to help people. Just this week I donated blood at the American Red Cross. One donation of whole blood can save up to three lives and just this is enough to convince me that it’s worth the hour or so of my time. Being at the American Red Cross on Tuesday made me realize just how many people need help in times of hardship. One in every seven people who enter the hospital needs blood.

The success stories that are posted on the givelife.org site are inspiring. From car accidents to cancer patients, the success stories are numerous. If a person donates, as many times in a year that they are allowed, their blood can be used 18 different times to help someone in need. In a lifetime, one person can help up to 900 people

When I walked out of the donation clinic, I felt as if I just did a service for my country. Laura from givelife.org states it in different terms: “By donating blood, I can serve my country in an easy way.” There is even a small counter at the bottom of the main page of the website that counts how many people have needed blood since the viewer arrived. The Red Cross says that every two seconds, someone in American needs this precious substance. It’s alarming when the numbers reach above 40. The site also lists the top 10 reasons to give blood (number one being to save lives) along with the top 10 excuses that people don’t (number one being they are afraid of needles).

I only spent about an hour and a half in the clinic on Tuesday. First, I was required to answer a series of question that are designed to find out whether I was at risk for blood related illnesses. Then, after a small needle prick, blood was draining from my arm into a collection bag. Once around on pint was out of my body, I took a short break to regain my strength, ate a little snack and drank a little bit of Pepsi, and they let me go. It’s that simple.

After donating blood, I signed up to get information on donating my time to the American Red Cross. A person can volunteer to do numerous things, from sponsoring a blood drive, to assisting in hurricane and other natural disaster rescues.

Blood is a much-needed resource in many hospitals and one can only imagine what would happen if a hospital ran short of blood. Imagine yourself needing blood the next time you enter the hospital.

So what’s your excuse?