Want to Give Back to Your Country? Give Blood

Aboutgive2 It's Memorial Day and so naturally, I'm giving thought to how others have helped our country over the years. While not everyone wants to or is able to join the armed forces, there is one way you can help your fellow citizens today—something that requires only about an hour of your life. Donate blood!

And whaddya know, just about three weeks from now, June 14th, happens to be World Blood Donor Day, a project spearheaded by America's Blood Centers and also done in tandem with Nexcare bandages' Give campaign. (Donate blood and you'll have your tiny wound covered with a bandage emblazoned with the word "give". (You can also get free samples of the bandages—seen in photo, left—at nexcare.com/give.)

These groups remind us that there are always shortages of blood, especially
during the summer months when regular donors' schedules are interrupted by
vacations. And if you think that your few, measly pints don't make that much of a difference, consider these eye-opening facts: 

*If just 1% more Americans gave blood, all shortages would disappear
for the foreseeable future.
*About 1 in 7 people entering a hospital need blood.
*One pint of blood can save up to three lives.
*17 percent of non-donors cite "never thought about it" as the main reason for not giving, while 15 percent say they're too busy.

So, who can donate?
*Healthy adults who are at least 17 years old, and at least 110 pounds may donate about a pint of blood – the most common form of donation – every 56 days, or every two months. (After donating blood, you replace the fluid in hours and the red blood cells within four weeks. Thirteen tests (11 for infectious diseases) are performed on each unit of donated blood.)

How long will it take?
The actual blood donation usually takes about 10 minutes. The entire process—from the time you sign in to the time you leave—takes about an hour.