Thursday, October 24, 2019

Week 10: Be a Hero

Five years ago, when I was counting down to my 40th birthday with 40 act of kindness, I had an AHA moment: I decided to donate blood...and I thankfully never looked back.

Since that blood donation in week 22 of the first Kindness Countdown, I have attended my local blood drive like clockwork every eight weeks. 

A couple of times my iron was low and I didn't qualify (not a huge surprise being a lifelong vegetarian), but that made me all the more determined to figure out how to care for myself so I could care for others. My secret: Orgain Organic plant-based protein powder.

The Versiti Blood Center employees who work our events have the best energy, they play the best music, and are so easy to laugh with!

A couple of them have told me they've passed along my plant-based protein powder tip to others with low iron. One man refers to me (affectionately, I think/hope) as "the woman who smells like she has chickens" because after growing up on a farm, immediately picked up the sweet smell off my muck boots when I once had to rush to make an appointment. Today, a woman and I bonded over the career changes we both made this year and shared stories about our children and her grandchildren.

And then there's the Cedarburg Lion's Club who hosts our bi-monthly drives! They are incredible, and work so hard to keep us all comfortable and thankful for the incredible Out & Out salad donations (they have The Best food), games, and snack tables to socialize at when we're finished. 

It really has become a special part of my community! But I do have one complaint: 

There are not enough young(ish) people there.

When I first began donating again five years ago I remember the moment I realized I was the youngest person quite a lot. I usually still am. And *I'm* counting down to my 45th birthday. 

If you're reading this, please consider donating.

Please gently remind your friends and family to donate.

Please tell them it doesn't take long, that it's pretty pain-free, that they'll save up to three lives with each donation. 

Please offer to go with them, to start your own tradition, to build your own community.

And then congratulate each other for being a hero!
"When you give blood you give another birthday, another anniversary, another day at the beach, another night under the stars, another talk with a friend, another laugh, another hug, another change." - American Red Cross

PS, a lot of the regulations regarding blood donations have been updated; many people who didn't qualify in the past most like now do. Please double-check the rules and regulations for your local blood drives.  

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