Last night I donated blood. In the past few weeks, I have been struggling to make some kind of sense of all the violence that has occurred the past few weeks in Florida, Minnesota, Louisiana and my home, Dallas, Texas. What kind of world was I living in? Was there a way for me to help stop the violence, racism and hate? How could I make any difference at all? I read a few articles that discussed the different ways one can make a difference when everything can seem so hopeless. Donating blood was mentioned at least a couple of times, and the suggestion really stuck out for me. I just happened to have noticed a week earlier that a Carter BloodCare donation site was right around the corner from where I live. I got online to the Carter BloodCare website, and within five minutes I had a very convenient appointment to donate blood. Up until the time of my appointment, I kept thinking that there would be something to prevent me from donating – prescriptions, travel history, I eat with my fingers. Seriously, my mind was conjuring up all kinds of random, nonsensical reasons I would be denied. But I arrived for my appointment and about 40 minutes later, I left with one pint less. (I’m guessing. I really don’t know how much they took. I don’t look at the needle, and I certainly don’t look at the bag of blood. Ewww.) The staff at Carter BloodCare was really nice and my being comfortable and safe was obviously their first concern. It took an hour out of my day, but I finally felt that I had done something – even though it was teeny tiny – to negate all the violence and hate out there. If nothing else, I put a little love, a little light, out into this crazy world of mine. And maybe if I can figure out small ways to keep putting that love and light out there … maybe in some way it will make a difference.
Here’s a really good article about why regular blood donors are important. CarterBloodCare operates in Texas, but I’m sure it’s not too hard to find a donation site in your area. The American Red Cross is also a good source.