Today's challenge is to give blood! Besides donating money, giving blood is probably one of the most well known ways to help people, especially in the health category! However, despite the fact that a lot of us know about donating blood, very few of us actually do it. As the picture above says, only about 3 in 100 Americans donate blood. That's a pretty small amount when you think about it. Even more surprising is this:
The American Red Cross Blood Supply is 48 hours from being empty. Imagine if your survival was completely dependent on that blood supply. How would that make you feel?
Blood drives are held constantly across the country, and there's sure to be one close to wherever you live. You can use the American Red Cross site to find where here. However, make sure you read these eligibility requirements really carefully. I was 14 when I learned about giving blood and decided I wanted to do it, I thought that I would be eligible once I was the right age (17 in most states, 16 in some), so I waited. It wasn't until the blood drive at my school this year that I found out I'm actually not eligible to donate blood, due to my height and weight. While the site says you must be at least 110 pounds, keep in mind that this requirement changes based on your height. The shorter you are, the more you have to weigh! I was really disappointed when I found out I'm not eligible, but there are always other ways to help out if you can't donate or if you're really scared of needles! You can volunteer at the stations at blood drives or simply donate to the American Red Cross, for example!
If you've already donated blood, or are planning on donating a lot over your lifetime, you can see exactly how many people you help. 1 pint of blood is the equivalent of saving 3 lives! Something else that I found really cool was this article about Al Fischer, who has donated over 320 pints of blood!:
"What if your mother needed blood? Would you give blood?" he asked. "What about your brother? How about your next-door neighbor? How about all of mankind?"