Save a life. Give blood.

I donated blood today– I’m a universal donor. They call me up all the time because of shortages. I hope the bruise on my arm doesn’t get too big. Seriously people, look how small my arm is. You have to be careful with that big needle.

Every time I donate blood, I think about how far we’ve come in terms of all different kinds of technology, but we still rely on the general goodwill of people to provide life-saving blood. Amazing! And in this day and age, I’m sure finding healthy donors is only getting harder. Consider how many people get nervous around needles or simply don’t want to give up their time and energy in the first place. And then current regulations keep a lot of people from donating even if they want to– like if you’ve ever even seen Africa on a map or heard of a man having sex with another man, you’re SOL. Frankly, I think many of those regulations are a little over the top, but even with those restrictions, we still manage to provide life-saving blood products to over four million Americans each year. Amazing!

And as far as I can tell, there’s no all-encompassing organization that manages the nation’s blood supply. Yes, the blood supply is certainly highly regulated at various levels, but there’s no end-all be-all national blood center. Just community blood centers that are networked together through a few large national blood suppliers. We rely on the work of good people all around the country. And the US blood supply is one of the safest in the world. Incredible!

Save a life. Give blood. Find a blood center near you: America’s Blood Centers.