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Give Blood on Valentine’s Day

This Valentine’s Day, before I go out, I’ve made a date with a local blood bank. I will encourage my partner to as well. According to the Red Cross, only a fraction of people who are eligible to give blood actually do. So, what’s been stopping me?

The last time I went to give blood was on 9/11. On that day New York City was in lockdown. I lived on the Upper West Side and had returned home early from work. People were being encouraged to use phones only in the case of an emergency, so I had spoken to my parents very briefly. I was tense. I wanted time to pass quickly, but it dragged. I needed to do something, so I got up and walked ten blocks to the nearest hospital to give blood.

As I waited outside with a group of people, a doctor came out to say that thank you, but they had enough blood already. People had already given enough blood that morning. They were overwhelmed by the outpouring. He reminded us to give in the future though. “We’re always in need of blood. Please come back,” he said.

We are all affected by disasters, earthquakes, floods, fires, and hurricanes. The military, blood centers around the country, and our hospitals are always in need of blood. It takes less than an hour. So, get out there and give! Valentine’s Day is a perfect time to show your love for humanity by donating blood.

Web sites:

The main Red Cross site

American Red Cross Blood donation site

Check out AABB to donate. They have a Blood Bank Locator Map for you to look at. You can also put your information in and find the closest blood drives in your area.