I am embarrassed to admit that I have never once in my life given blood.
There. I said it. Now I should be, and am, ashamed enough to do something about it in 2009. I used to be scared to donate, but if I compare it to giving birth, sharing my blood with someone who needs it is really not a big deal.
Blood is traditionally in short supply during the winter months due to holidays, travel schedules, illnesses and bad weather. January is the slowest month of all, and that's why it is National Blood Donor Month.
So you know what I'm going to say: Now's the time to give blood.
Every day in our country, hospitals and emergency centers need approximately 39,000 units of blood for patients with cancer and other diseases, for organ transplant recipients, and to help save the lives of accident victims.
I received an email from the Red Cross today that reminded me that blood is needed worldwide. "As Israeli attacks on Gaza and Palestinian rocket fire on Israel continue, residents are in need of medical assistance and basic commodities," their press release says. The International Committee of the Red Cross provides medical kits, blood units and additional ambulances.
We can't really send our blood overseas, but if we can swing it, we can give the American Red Cross International Response Fund a few dollars. Many CafeMoms have been talking about the violent situation in the Middle East this week. Check out this thread in Answers where CafeMoms try to explain What's Going on in Gaza.
Whether you give the American Red Cross a few bucks locally or internationally, it's good to keep this important organization in mind. I think I'll start by donating some blood--gulp--this month. I'll let you know how it goes.
What about you? Have you ever given blood? Why or why not?