Needles. They’re just one of those things that make some people’s skin crawl. It’s simply a ‘no’ in their eyes. Most people associate needles with the pain of an injection. It’s something they would only commit to rarely, such as those times you would have injections in certain year levels back at school.
For some however, the thought of needles draws forth the warm memories of cookies, milk boxes, and lollipops. These are the people that have donated blood before, and most likely on La Trobe’s very own doorstep.
I could by giving the good old emotional tug. The “it saves lives!” But these reasons are fairly evident even to those who haven’t considered donating blood at all. So what then, are the selfish benefits of donating blood? Well for starters, it is essentially a “get out of anything free” card. When first giving blood, you are notified that it will potentially take a day or two for you to recover it all, and that you shouldn’t do anything too physical over the coming days. Now I’m not guaranteeing it will work when someone says “can you do the dishes”, but there is a definitive chance. People like to be nice to those who are donating blood.
Photo: Red Cross
I asked some other first years why they gave blood, and received some fairly stock standard answers. Callum Stagg had this to say,
“Well it feels pretty good to be helping out the community. There are people that need blood, and it is something simple I can do to help them. It doesn’t take long, and it can save someone’s life, and that’s pretty cool.”
Of course, these community aspects are an important reason to give blood, but another donor, Shannon Jayamaha gives a different hook.
“When I ask people if they want to come and donate with me and my friends, I usually push the free food as much as possible. You have to wait around for a while after you donate, just to make sure you’re okay, and during that time there is a bunch of free food. Muffins, chips and biscuits. They sure know how to treat the people donating, I can tell you that for sure.”
I myself have donated several times, the first time being when I was in year 11. It’s something that I highly recommend, especially if you go with one or two friends. Some people may fear needles, but when you’re volunteering yourself for such a great cause, in order to help someone with leukemia, or someone that has just been in a fatal accident, and potentially save a life, these reasons can make the doubt seem insignificant and can be something that can help drive you to overcome your fear.
For more information on how you can donate read more at http://www.donateblood.com.au/
By James Wallace