I did something this weekend which I have been wanting to do for a while: I donated blood.
No big deal, right? Yay me. But, it got me thinking. (Part of the reason for the thinking was some of the paperwork & promotional material they had on hand at the donation site.) Why had I not donated before? I’ve been eligible (off & on) since I was old enough, and this is the first time I donated.
Well, I guess it’s the same reasons a lot of eligible people don’t donate. Too busy, too much of a hassle to go somewhere to do it, and – the big one for most people – NEEDLES. Ick. Giving blood for lab work is bad enough; you want me to voluntarily get a needle stuck in me?
And yet, I don’t really feel that way about needles. Shots are no big deal. Blood work (now) isn’t much worse. Just don’t make me watch the needle going in, and I’m fine. (When I was a kid the story was different and involved a tech trying and failing to find my vein multiple times, but that was then and this is now.)
Anyway, I finally got there, thanks in no small part to my dad booking the appointment for me. I’d been wanting to go donate, but he made the extra push that got me off my butt to actually do it.
And while I was there, I found out that only 37% of the American public is eligible to donate. Between permanent disqualifications (diseases, lifestyle, medications), temporary ones (shorter term illnesses, international travel, vaccines), and age restrictions, that leaves only 37% of the population who can donate. And of that percentage, only 5% do donate. In my specific area? Make it 3%. Yes. You read that right. Only 3% of people in my area donate blood.
And I hadn’t been… why again? Because it was too much of a bother.
Yeah. That’s gonna change.
With the current political climate, I’ve been trying to come up with things I can do to make a change for the better. This is one of them.