Today my friend Scott, who is a deeply committed blood donor, sent out a mass email Call To Action asking his friends to join him at the Oakland Red Cross's Valentine's Day Single's blood drive. He writes,
"They need your donations thoughout the year, especially in winter, but this is a great opportunity to meet some cute, pre-screened fellow donors with guaranteed social conscience.
Appointments can be made anywhere, almost any time, by calling:
Pease take this chance to feel good about helping out. Please pass the invitation and request along to anyone you want. Please remember this is just as important a month after Valentine's Day, or any time of the year."
If you're in the Bay Area on Valentine's day, go to the Rockridge Center in Oakland, CA, and he might help you pick someone up! Actually, I don't see why there isn't a blood drive for couples--seems like saving lives together is pretty romantic. See below for some links for finding your local blood center.
I spent most of today listening to the stories of sufferers of Hepatitis C , many of whom were diagnosed when they donated blood. There are a lot of people who are not eligible to donate blood--some for obviously good reasons, like people with Hepatitis C or HIV, some for somewhat silly reasons (gay males, despite the fact that straight women are just about as likeley to have HIV), and some for really odd reasons--me, for instance. I can't give blood because I've spent more than three months in the UK between 1980 and 1996. Apparently this implies that I might have mad-cow disease, which is particularly galling because I don't eat cow and never have. But, those are the rules. This means that it's even more crucial that those of you who are eligible to donate blood please do so
. You can see if you're eligible to donate blood here
According to this press release
, New York City is experiencing a crucial shortage of even frozen O-positive blood, the most common type.
A New York City Blood Drive on February 12, 2004
New York Blood Center.
East Bay Blood Donation Centers.
New England Blood Services.
Southern California Blood Services.
Find a blood center near you.
And an article in the Berkeley Science Review that talks about the ban on blood from those who have spent extended amounts of time in the U.K. (a pdf file.)