Feel good, help others: Give blood
OPINION: If you’re not traumatised by needles yet, make your way to your closest blood donation centre for a wholesome experience.
I’ve been donating blood for three years now, and it’s one of my favourite activities.
Let me introduce you to the experience . . .
It’s 5pm and I’m cycling down to the Christchurch Blood Donation Centre.
Although I’ve just finished work and should be craving a full meal and some shut-eye, I’m eager to get there. I sign in at reception and watch a first-timer receive their magnetic notepad boasting the ‘‘NZ Blood’’ logo. This makes me smile – I’ve still got mine proudly stuck to my fridge.
Having read two information leaflets and filled in the pre-blood questionnaire, I sit down and wait for my turn.
A nurse looks through the document holders and pulls mine out: ‘‘Lila?’’ (they pronounce my name correctly, which is a great start to the process).
While walking towards the appointment booth, Mike and I rave about how good the last Dune movie was.
He sits me down and goes through my questionnaire, checking my haemoglobin levels with a small finger jab.
Satisfied with the results (I’ve made sure to keep on top of ironrich foods in the days preceding the appointment), he leads me to the magical red seat where the donation takes place.
Mike flutters around other nurses and distracts me with the TV while he inserts the needle.
As I lie on the classic red chairs, slowly pumping my fist as Kiwi bangers play out of the speakers, I look around me.
This is my favourite part. Here, it doesn’t seem like us humans are so different from each other after all.
People from all walks of life are here, giving to others in need, spending 30 minutes of their day simply being generous – and it feels good.
People may think the bloodtaking process is long, but I’m done after just five minutes.
From then, I walk to the snack area, where I happily nibble on crackers and orange juice, gathering my energy before the ride home.
Every 18 minutes, someone in New Zealand needs blood or plasma, yet less than 4 per cent of eligible Kiwis are registered to give blood.
If you didn’t get on the New Year Resolution Train, let me suggest this: donate blood.
It will take less than an hour of your day every four months. Not only will you be doing something wonderful for someone who desperately needs it, but you’ll feel great about it too.
Head to nzblood.co.nz for more information, or post on your Neighbourly feed to ask your neighbours about their experience.