Last week I went and gave blood. This would not normally be blogworthy, but this marked a milestone in that it was my 25th donation so I felt some sort of reflection on the topic was in order.
There are two main reasons I give blood. The first is that it's one of the few pure, selfless things I do. Apart from some sausage rolls afterwards and the getting a badge every so often I don't gain anything out of it. A random stranger gets something that will help them live and all it costs me is some time. The ethical calculus is pretty clear this is a good thing to do. And in a life that isn't big in getting involved in things and doing stuff to contribute, a pure selfless act is a good thing to throw in every now and then.
The other, bigger reason why I give blood is that it is something that I grew up with. Many were the times as a kid when my sister and I would sit on the sides of the bed/chair bit while my mother was giving blood. Mum is O-, and while she was able to was a pretty regular donor. Giving blood was even a rite of passage. On my sixteenth birthday after school Mum came into town (I was at boarding school at the time) and we went and I gave my first donation.
Since then I've not been as consistent as I'd like, and living overseas for a bit didn't help either. That should no longer be a problem as the Red Cross are much more organized about this now, and will automatically book your next appointment for you and send you reminders a few weeks out, making it much easier to not forget about it. In fact, why not make an appointment now?