In times like these when the economy is putting the squeeze on family budgets, one of the first things to go, or to be reduced, is the charitable contribution. Deadly weather, devastating earthquakes, wildfires and other tragedies just seem to exacerbate the problem. There are so many needs, and for many families, fewer and fewer disposable income dollars. It’s easy to see why many non-profit organizations are struggling to keep providing the same level of services, when the need keeps growing and the resources keep dwindling.
Wouldn’t it be great if there was something we could give that would always replenish itself almost immediately…kind of like a piggy bank that never gets empty. Well believe it or not there is. It is something we all have and something we all need. BLOOD.
Even if you can’t afford to contribute as many dollars to your favorite charity you can make a huge impact for people across the state and the region by giving blood. It’s a resource that despite its “availability,” after all, almost every person has enough to share, there is such a tremendous demand for it, that supplies are often critically low.
In Mississippi, hundreds of pints of blood are needed every day. A person who has suffered injuries in a traffic accident, can require as many as 50 units of blood. A cardiovascular surgery patient may need between 2 and 25 units of blood, a cancer patient can use as much as 8 units of blood a week. These facts quickly put into perspective how great the need is.
By becoming a blood donor, you can make a difference in the lives of countless people who will never know your name, but who will owe their very lives to your generosity. To be a blood donor, you just have to be 17 years old or older (age 16 with parental consent), have a valid I.D., meet weight/ height requirements (You must weigh at least 110 lbs. to give whole blood. To give double red cells, men must be 5’1” tall and weigh at least 130 lbs., and women must be at least 5’5” tall and weigh at least 150 lbs.) You should be in good health and not have donated whole blood for at least eight weeks or double red cells for at least sixteen weeks.
Giving blood takes less time than it takes to watch the 6:00 news. You only give 1 pint, a fraction of what you have in your body. (The body of an average adult contains nine to twelve pints of blood). And, within a few hours of your donation your original volume of fluids will have been regenerated and your red blood cells will be replaced within a few weeks. In less than 30 minutes (the actual time it takes to donate is less than 10 minutes), you can give a gift that can last a lifetime for someone in need. How’s that for sustainability.
Looking for a way to give something back to your community? Give the gift of life.
For more information about giving blood, locations where you can donate, or to organize a blood drive for your church, business or civic organization, check the website of Mississippi Blood Services www.msblood.com.