Something for the Soul: Give blood – So others can live

November 2012 Posted in Columnists & Opinion

Winnie Bolton

By Winnie Bolton

Apathy sucks.

Apathy is a killing ailment.

Unlike cancer, apathy is self-induced but there is a remedy for apathy.

The answer is not a pill or a doctor’s visit.

The answer is involvement in a project or on a committee or sharing your talents while volunteering.

I have a real problem when people hear or read that blood donations are sorely needed across our nation and can be indifferent.

This upsets me, especially when I know 1,100 units of blood are needed daily in our country alone.

Our bodies contain 12 pints of blood and we are asked to give just one pint which our body can naturally replace within 24 hours.

It takes about an hour of our time to give a pint of blood so someone can survive after losing blood during a surgery or in an accident. By donating a pint of blood, you may be saving someone’s life.

The hour spent donating blood includes a mini physical that checks your blood iron and a health questionnaire to determine eligibility and ensure blood safety.

Requirements to donate blood are simple.

You must weigh at least 110 pounds. You need a driver’s license or Red Cross donor cards and you must be 18 years old.

After test results confirm the safety of the donated blood, a health professional withdraws the blood from the donor and then the components are released for distribution to hospitals.

There is no pharmaceutical company that can fill that gift of blood. It comes from loving, generous hearts – the real unsung heroes and heroines in our communities.

Next time you hear a siren or see a speedy ambulance rushing to the scene of an accident, don’t be apathetic or wonder where it’s going.

I encourage you to think about sharing your prized gift of blood.

It costs you absolutely nothing. These days that is certainly something to celebrate.

If you’re concerned about prescription medicine you might be taking, give the Red Cross a jingle at 1-866-236-3276 or visit

Local high schools, Silverton Hospital Auxiliary, the Elks Club,  and Mount Angel Seminary are a few of the groups that have several blood drives throughout the year as the need never ends for all types of blood and blood components which are defined as red blood cells, white blood cells platelets and plasma.

On Thursday, Nov. 15, the Silverton Elks are hosting an American Red Cross Blood drive from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Lodge, 300 High St. Walk-ins are welcome as well as appointments. Call Chuck at 503-989-6291 to schedule a time to donate you blood.

Don’t hesitate.

Don’t be apathetic. In the words of that famous shoe company  –  Just Do It.

Just think, while you are giving blood you can get a nice, long rest; cookies and juice afterwards; a thank you from the volunteers and comfort in the knowledge that you may have saved the life of a friend, a neighbor or someone you never met. How humbling can that be?

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