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An hour of your time can save livesPosted Wednesday, June 29, 2011, at 1:55 PM
I gave less than an hour of my free time over the weekend to potentially help save someone else's life.
I donated blood while the American Red Cross was set up at Humphreys Park during the Classic Car Cruise-In on Saturday.
It was the first time that I had successfully donated, and it felt great. Well not great physically, obviously, but it did not hurt all that much either. As a matter of fact, I didn't even bruise this time.
I had tried to donate many times in the past, but my rolling veins always stood in the way. Yet, I continued to try each time the chance arose.
I frequently hear people make excuses about why they cannot donate, including medication, medical history and a new tattoo. Sometimes it is in fear, and other times people are unaware of the actual deferrals. Sometimes I just hear, "Well I don't have time."
The American Red Cross is making it possible for many people in our community to donate. Even if you have tattoos, you can still donate. Research has been done to prove that some medications will not get in the way of donating. Even cancer survivors can donate, as long as they have been cancer free for at least two years.
I have been speaking with Red Cross Donor Recruitment Representative Ashley Lesage to get the word out that the bus would be visiting Greene County. I needed photos of the Cruise-In, so I stopped by the bus to speak with her and take the time to donate.
Lesage had told me earlier in the week that a large percentage of their donations came from school donations, especially Indiana University. She said that she feared they may not make their quota for our area, especially with students being gone for the summer. The quota reflected on how much blood the hospitals need.
I was slightly surprised when she told me on Saturday they had a great turnout for the day. In fact, she said that at one point, there were 10 people in line waiting to donate. The group had to create a waiting list, and each donor waited patiently to be called back to the bus.
At first, I was surprised, but that feeling quickly passed as I realized that those patient people were a member of the community I grew up in. I reflected on all the kind people I have met, and the strangers who have helped me.
This is Greene County for you. Showing up to give a part of themselves in order to help a complete stranger. At that moment I went from being surprised to being proud.
I am proud to be a part of such a close-knit community. Jokes were tossed back and forth among donors on the bus, as many of them had known each other for years.
There are still chances for us to come together and save lives in Greene County.
You can donate at the Bloomfield State Bank, located at 48 N. Washington Street in Bloomfield on Thursday, June 30 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Red Cross will also be set up in Humphreys Park in Linton on Sunday, July 3 and Monday, July 4 from 5-9 p.m.
Just one donation could save the lives of up to three people. Chances are, either you or a loved one will need a blood transfusion at some point in your life.
Sabrina is a staff writer for the Greene County Daily World. She can be reached by telephone at 847-4487 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org .
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