Get ready for a blog that will sound a little different. Today, I write about my own experience in a new program. As we wrote on a previous blog, Bekins and Classic Stereo are supporting West Michigan communities and its own employees with a new BeKind initiative.
Bekins will donate money when an employee donates time to a local 501(c)3 humanitarian organization. With a toddler at home, I have not carved out any time to volunteer recently. Yet, this new program drove me think about making time. Plus, what is more humanitarian than life-saving blood? I have donated blood and plasma over the years. Now I plan to give four hours of my time each month to Michigan Blood in Grand Rapids.
WHAT IS MICHIGAN BLOOD?
Founded in 1955, Michigan Blood is an independent, non-profit blood bank that provides blood for
60 hospitals throughout Michigan. The company collects more than 125,000 blood donations each year at more than 3,600 mobile drives statewide and nine permanent donation sites. A few of those permanent sites are located in West Michigan:
- Grand Rapids
- St. Joseph
In addition to whole blood donations, Michigan Blood also offers:
- a nationally recognized stem cell (marrow) program
- therapeutic apheresis
- DNA tissue-typing
- transfusion medicine consultations
- Michigan’s first public cord blood bank
SUPPORTING WEST MICHIGAN THROUGH MICHIGAN BLOOD
All volunteers play a very important role at Michigan Blood. I work at the Post Donation Station. My job entails offering cookies and juice to people when they finish donating. It helps donors to eat and drink after they give. Michigan Blood also asks them to stay for an extra 15 minutes just in case they feel any of the possible side effects. The Post Donation Station volunteers help donors re-hydrate, replenish and stay safe after their life-saving efforts.
Yet, Michigan Blood offers a few more ways to volunteer:
- Greet donors.
- Place stickers on the bags and tubes before a donation.
- Clerical support.
SAVE MULTIPLE LIVES WITH ONE DONATION
It takes about an hour to finish the entire process of donating blood, but the actual donation only takes about 7-10 minutes. You never know who it may save or what blood type may be in short supply. Plus, blood only stays fresh for a short period of time which creates the need for donations every day. You can help save the lives of multiple local people with only one donation.
If that doesn’t motivate you enough, Michigan Blood has another stat:
“The average Michigan Blood donor gives less than twice per year. If all donors gave three times per year, then blood shortages would be rare.”