Giving one’s blood to save a patient’s life is easily recognized as a profound act of generosity. With no substitute for blood, the role of donors in sustaining a huge range of medical care is essential.
Each year, millions of people rely on transfusions to survive cancer, trauma, childbirth, surgery, and other conditions. Over decades, donor recruiters have leaned heavily on associated medical narratives and examples, and the public has responded positively.
Unfortunately, as the pace of life accelerates, value systems shift, and communication channels fragment, blood banks are more frequently struggling to keep the blood supply up to meet demand. Overall, the pandemic year’s disruptions have worsened this trend. In response, new stories and approaches are needed to inspire donors. Thankfully, many positives can be highlighted:
- Inclusion: Pints of blood are a universal gift that can help literally anyone, with no regard to age, gender, race, education, income, nationality, or other category. Very few kindnesses have such broad-ranging benefits.
- Preparedness: Hospital shelves stocked with blood signal readiness to respond to disasters, whether natural, accidental, or manmade. Because of the time needed for testing and paperwork, only blood given days prior can help when an emergency occurs.
- Community: Blood drives are gatherings, places of fellowship where charity is served by teamwork. No one can give blood alone, and the sharing must be shared. The cookies only add to the good spirits.
- Uplift: Donors rightly take joy in sharing part of themselves to help others. Spiritual satisfaction is a natural side effect of celebrating one’s good health in hope that someone else can be so blessed. We deliver good days for donors, as well as patients.
- Legacy: Young patients getting blood today are going to live into the 22nd century. Donors are literally becoming physical parts of those lives and their destinies. Think of a good deed with a shelf life of 100 years!
If you are a blood donor, thank you for creating everyday miracles. Please know that in unsettled times, your actions are a powerful beacon showing the good we can accomplish for each other.
If you want proof, take a moment to consider what it says about our society that our blood supply never failed during the COVID-19 crisis, despite all the upheaval and obstacles we confronted.