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Things you can donate REDUX

23 July 201212:29PMlife

I donated blood today. A bunch of guys from my friendly neighbourhood cult organised a group booking and so that's how I ended up lying in the middle of Midland today, bleeding.

I have a couple of principles about charity. One of them is that it should be easy to make them habitual, because doing something exceptional takes effort. A while ago - I think it was a couple of years now actually - I wrote this post about why you should consider donating computer time. It's easy to do and doesn't need conscious thought and... well, just read the original post. The point is that it's easy to just make it part of your everyday life.

The other principle is that I'd rather donate stuff other than money. No amount of money is going to get the Red Cross more A positive. Of course, that's pretty much in total contradiction to the first principle. It's pretty difficult to give blood. Like, not hard, but in comparison to stuff you can habituate it takes a modicum of preparation.

But to be honest, it kind of pisses me off that more people don't do it. Those ads on TV? Where they say that 1 in 3 people will need blood but only 1 in 30 donate? That statistic is completely shameful. As far as I can tell (and this is just me speculating) there are 3 reasons (excuses?) not to give blood, and only one of them is valid:

  1. You are medically unable, as defined by the pretty rigorous conditions of the Red Cross.
  2. You are afraid of needles.
  3. You can't be bothered.

1 is valid, and you have my permission to not feel raging guilt. 2 may be valid, in as much as passing out while donating is a medical condition. But I suspect that many of the people who are "afraid of needles" don't have any problems getting, say, a flu jab, or a immunisation shot when going overseas. To those people I posit the following question: What is worse, a painful immunisation or a less painful blood donation. The answer? Neither. It's a trick question. The real answer is dying of blood loss.

And then theres the people who just can't be bothered, which as I've just established, includes a significant subset of the 'scared of needles' crowd. To you people I say, maybe go and do it, because you will probably save someone's life, and there is really no good reason not to.

No, seriously. Call them right now and make an appointment. I'll wait.

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