Hey everyone! Before I get to the subject of this post, I just wanted to make a quick update and say today was my first day at Northwest University! Since the day was just simply introductions and going over syllabi, I figured that isn’t a strong basis for a blog (“…and then Professor Wisemore said we will be using Scantrons for exams!”), so I’ll probably write something this weekend about how the first week went, but it has officially started!

Anyways, riding on the socially-conscious wave produced by the “Ice Bucket Challenge” for striking out ALS, I thought I’d share another way you can be involved in helping people with no cost other than a momentary second of physical discomfort: Blood donations!

My Experience

So a couple weeks ago, I FINALLY became a blood donor! I’ve been wanting to do this for years now, but have been too scared to do it. I actually got the courage to do it last year when I was at GRCC and I only went because Lynnea Moon went with me as backup… and it turns out I needed her more than I thought I did, because during the donation process, my body went into shock and my heart contracted all the blood back to my vitals at a rate that was going to make me faint. The nurses had to abort the procedure before the minimum needed to complete the donation, so that was disappointing.

I finally passed this hurdle though when Holly and Todd convinced me to go with them, and I found out I had prepared for the procedure all wrong in that I came in on an empty stomach, (note to future donors-and you all should do it- eat a hearty meal before donating blood) so I ended up enduring the same shock reaction to the loss of blood, but this time it happened at the end of the donation so I was able to complete the process.

The Facts

I’m so glad I can now officially be called a donor now, it is such a low cost that yields high rewards. Check out a couple of these stats from Red Cross:
– Every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood.
– Although an estimated 38% of the U.S. population is eligible to donate, less than 10% actually do each year.
– Two most common reasons cited by people who don’t give blood are: “Never thought about it” and “I don’t like needles.”
– One donation can help save the lives of up to three people.
– If you began donating blood at age 17 and donated every 56 days until you reached 76, you would have donated 48 gallons of blood, potentially helping save more than 1,000 lives!

Be Your Own Superhero

I think the last stat is what gets me personally. My personal motto is that I’m an investor in life, and people make the greatest return on my investment. I want to invest in something that is going to have an exponential return for my small cost. Sure I expect that from investing in financial portfolios, but that same concept is found everywhere; like from one of my previous posts about Kiva: you loan a poor person money to build a small business, they pay you back and you loan that same money to another poor person, instantly doubling the use of your “donation”.

Blood donation is the same thing. Our bodies regenerate new blood cells when you lose blood from cuts or other events. So when we give a small portion of our blood away, we recoup our “loss” and can then turn around and donate again (after 56 days that is), and this donation quite literally saves lives. I can’t ask for any better investment: I could statistically be responsible for saving 1,000 lives and I didn’t have to leap through a window or diffuse a bomb at the last second to do it! and on top of that, I didn’t have to partner with the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation and donate half of my-now dismal-wealth in order to do it.

It’s great we’re all dumping ice water (haven’t you all noticed the ice seems to be missing from the equation in recent videos?), but let’s ride this wave to take more progressive steps forward to helping people, I’m just currently suggesting another small step forward, but if we continue to take steps forward, we can literally change the world!

As Morgan Freeman said in the movie, Bruce Almighty: “People want me to do everything for them. But what they don’t realize is *they* have the power. You want to see a miracle, son? Be the miracle.”

—Grant X.
Currently reading:

“Chasing Francis” -Ian Morgan Cron
“Predictably Irrational” -Dan Ariely

Life verse: “But a generous man devises generous things and by his generosity he will stand.” -Isaiah 32:8

Life Mission Statement: To be intentionally focused on providing opportunity and adding value to others.