I just got back from donating blood. I try to go as often as I am allowed, but I realized the last time I gave was back in January! I did try going in March/April, but I was actually rejected for low iron. That was the first time in about 4 years I was denied!! For those of you who have never donated, you need to go through several steps to get clearance. There is an "interview" where you are asked questions like- "In the past 6 months have you come into contact with someone else's blood?, "Have you spent more than 6 months in The British Isles?", "Have you ever had sex with someone for drugs or money?", "Have you ever had sex with a man who has had sex with another man?", "Have you ever had Mad-Cow Disease?", "Have you ever taken drugs or steroids intravenously?" and it's very hard not to giggle, but you can't because they need to screen and you must be serious and not snarky. You get your blood pressure taken, they prick your finger to check iron levels, they take your temperature and check your arms for bruises or track marks. If you are cleared, you are taken to a cot, and then they start to look for good veins. And then they take the blood! It's really not a big deal- just a massive pinch, and you can literally save a life, or even lives!! After it's over, you get to go to the snack table! I love the snack table!! Sometimes they have sandwiches- tuna, turkey, PBJ-sometimes they have pizza, or even ice cream!! YAY! I love free food!!
And there's usually a raffle of some sort, like for Red Sox Tickets, an HDTV, or concert tickets. I've taken my kids with me sometimes and tried to emphasize the importance of donating. I think if you take them with you and expose them and teach them, it can only help. Usually. Actually, they love the free food too as the volunteers who man the "Canteen" tell them they can have some cookies because they are such good kids!! So all of you who are healthy, consider donating! It's no big deal!!