United Blood Services
Now, they're VITALENT
48th & University, Lubbock Texas
This is what 27 gallons looks like.
Wednesday, March 19th, 2014
I have donated 216 times.
My last chloesterol was 143.
This is my 27 gallon pin, they all look alike except for the number of gallons.
|Here is what my dad received when
donated blood. His glass was given on
July 1, 1957 (glass on left), the last of
the glasses was found on Saturday, June
23rd, 2012 while liquidating the house
234 East Craven, Waco, Texas. About
25 glasses were found, 15 gallons was
the largest glass amount, numerous 1-
gallon glasses were in the lot. I think he
gave over 20 gallons, mom gave around
|At the yearly (2009) Apheresis
Appreciation party, I was asked to speak
about why and how I got into donating.
Below is my "speech".
Run-time: 5:12 (allotting for laughter & applause).
"Thank you, Les, for the introduction. When he called and asked how I'd like to be introduced, that's what I told him to say. That intro applies to any of us. I am like you: a donor. We're not an egotistical group when it comes to donating. All causes needs funding - MONEY - but in service work, there is NO substitute for a person's time; for it's TIME that is required to donate blood.
When I was 17, I gave a Wednesday night devotional at church and made the statement: "Before I got up here to the lectern, God and I know what I was going to say. Now that I'm so nervous, only God knows." Fortunately, the story I share will be brief like the mini-skirt - short enough for interest, long enough to cover what's important. This will take five minutes, twelve seconds of your time.
The efforts to make UBS a better place, convenient and inviting while trying to draw not only the "iffy" people who may have given before, but also attract the populace who have never thought about donating is the deterrent of recruiters/marketeers. The demand for "product" is always there, sometimes higher than at others because of weather related injury, accidents or stupidity which activates the call for blood. Each of us have some reason or reasons that compel us to donate; probably a different reason for each of us here. I have three.
My first reason and influence is my dad. Born in Salinas, Arkansas in 1924, he was my first introduction about how this whole deal works. I first went with him to the Waco American Red Cross - I was was about 10. This was the place where he eventually donated over 20 gallons of whole blood. My recollection of that first time was the FREE cookies. I didn't donate but I still got FREE cookies.
I also remember the smell of isopropyl alcohol. Blood donation was never something he encouraged, or even talked about - it was just something he did. Dad wasn't a vocal man, except when it came to one thing: disrespect. THEN he would be vocal and physical, right back HERE...
The Waco American Red Cross would have a yearly bar-be-cue, donors & their families were invited. One of the "prizes" at this event was the recognition of those who had obtained a gallon mark in the donation year. The donor would received a glass tumbler, about 10-12 ounces in size, with a large, red blood drop painted on the side. Inside this drop, was a white-cross, and inscribed below that, "10 gallons" or whatever number. During my years of living at home, the glasses he had accumulated were stored in the middle cabinet of the breakfast bar. My dad is the first influencer for donating blood and I'd like to introduce you to him, now. I'd like to, but he died nine years ago.
The second reason why I continue to give platelets is more a selfish reason. It's a test, a challenge, a goal to do the maximum I can. I'd like to out-give my dad. Like those who train for the race, the motivation to donate 24 times in one year is my competition. Look around - no big wheels here - well, except for Les Long. NO public figures of high-visibility. Not here, not on the national scene. You just don't hear about donors. No Tom Martins, no Tiger Woods, no Barrack Obamas.
Hmmmm...Let's see here: under a doctor's care in the last 12 months: Tiger out. In the past three months, have you been to Mexico: Obama out. We are united here because we can pass the 40 plus questions, give the minimum number of units and haven't had Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease - nor any of our relatives.
These three words: Rice Krispy Treats