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When was the last time anyone promised you instant gratification and it was true?

Donated blood last week, and later saw a big American Red Cross truck with this ad: “The need is constant. The gratification is instant. Give blood.”

After less than an hour with some very kind nurses and a pint of my best, I have to agree the gratification is instant.  Or maybe that was just the free juice and cookies.

Here’s why I give blood:  American blood saved my life; I’m just giving it back.

living in gratitude©

I almost bled to death after being injured in the Afghanistan war, so I am always grateful to the Americans  — a journalist and many soldiers — who lined up in the desert to give their blood.

I haven’t met any of them, to thank them personally, yet I will never forget their selflessness.

I needed so many transfusions, my blood type changed.  I have antibodies now that make me a good donor for babies.

There’s something especially hopeful about that, knowing that in mid-life my blood changed to make it more suitable for newborns.  How sweet is that?

Some facts from the Red Cross:  Americans need blood transfusions every second.

Think babies, cancer patients, accident victims … 5 million of them every year.

Yet only three people out of every 100 donate.

It doesn’t hurt; it doesn’t take long; and in some states, donors get free movie passes, theater tickets, and meal vouchers.  Sometimes, you’ll even get a T-shirt, in gratitude for your giving.

The Red Cross has been in this business since 1940, and uses 91 cents of every dollar for humanitarian work.

Ever see a newcast about a hurricane/tornado/flood/forest fire/earthquake or any other disaster in the U.S. and not see the Red Cross?

I require CPR and first aid training as a rehabilitation counselor, and take my courses through the Red Cross, because I trust them.

Thanks to half a million American Red Cross volunteers

I’ve donated blood in three states in the past 10 years, and have always been impressed by the care and professionalism of staff and volunteers. You meet the nicest people, giving blood.

Half a million Americans are Red Cross volunteers, and I’m grateful to every one for all they do.

About four million Americans donate blood each year.

That’s not enough.  It’s never enough.