I conduct blood drives. I coordinate with BloodWorks and churches in our interfaith group to schedule drives and sign up donors.
I was a regular blood donor when I lived in Honolulu, starting about 40 years ago. After I moved to Woodinville in 1992, I looked around for blood donating opportunities and discovered that WUUC already had a program for this. WUUC had recently joined with 5 other churches to form an interfaith group. I became the coordinator for the blood drive effort on behalf of Cottage Lake Interfaith Partners, CLIP.
In Honolulu, I attended a self-help seminar which, among other things, encouraged people to get involved in community service. My personal blood type is AB negative which is the rarest of all the standard blood types — only .5% of the population has it. This blood type makes me the universal plasma donor. Any other blood type can receive my plasma, and it can be frozen and stored for a year. Emergency rooms keep it on hand for trauma victims who need a quick transfusion of plasma without taking the time to check their blood type for a match.
One of the things I have found most gratifying in doing this is the connection I have made with so many people. A memorable event occurred when we had a blood drive scheduled for a few days after 9/11/2001. People were desperate to help, and flooded into Wooden Cross Lutheran where the drive was being held. We handled about 85 donors that day before running out of supplies and having to turn many others away.
Statistics show that 70% of us will need blood sometime in our life, yet only about 5% of the population gives blood.
Being a blood donor is the easiest, quickest and most powerful thing we can do to benefit our community. The most amount of time you could spend in one year giving whole blood (6 times max) would be about 6 hours. Whole blood is separated into its 3 main components (plasma, platelets, and red blood cells). Each donation could be given to 3 different patients depending on their individual needs, so your 6 annual donations have the potential of benefitting 18 people.
I think of it as the lazy man’s way to save the world.