A different way to volunteer

As we rapidly approach 2020, many of us start to think about small acts of kindness or ways to volunteer. VolunteerMerton is asking you to not forget the impact of blood donation. This is an opportunity to be generous and potentially give a lifeline to someone in an emergency.

Blood donors, from all backgrounds, are needed to ensure there is the right blood available for patients and to ensure that the nation’s blood stocks continue to remain at a safe level in the future.

Most people between the age of 17 and 65 can give blood, with men able to donate blood every 12 weeks and women every 16 weeks. So why donate blood? Something so simple can make such a positive difference in our world. Here are just a few reasons why:

  • It saves lives
    Donations are essential for trauma patients and people undergoing a variety of situations, including surgeries, transplants, chronic illnesses, blood disorders and cancer. 
  • Be different
    Did you know that less than 10% of eligible donors give blood. It’s a safe, regulated and rewarding process to make sure the donor, blood supply and recipient stay protected.
  • Giving blood can help your mental state
    While there are several physical benefits to donating blood, the most powerful health benefit is arguably in the psychological realm. Donating blood means that someone (or multiple people) somewhere will be getting the help they desperately need. Donating blood, especially on a regular basis, can be similar to volunteer work. You give of your time (and your literal blood) to help strangers in need. Getting out of your usual environment to do something good for someone else is stimulating in the best kind of way. 
  • It only takes an hour
    The entire donation process takes approximately one hour, with about 10 minutes of that time being the actual blood donation. 
  • Get healthy
    While it isn’t the same thing as a trip to the doctor, donating blood can be another way to keep an eye on your cardiovascular health. You’ll receive a mini-physical prior to the blood draw, in which someone will check your pulse, blood pressure, body temperature, hemoglobin and more.  This can sometimes shed light on issues you didn’t even know about.

Use this quick list to check you can give blood and start your journey of volunteering today.