When I was just a kid, I remember my dad telling me an inspirational story from the military. In light of the events of the past two weeks and what may unfold in the near future, the story has become even more meaningful:
platoon was in the heat of battle and taking heavy casualties; they had to retreat. Upon reaching safer ground, one of the soldiers realized that his buddy had been wounded and had been left behind in the fighting. He ran to the platoon leader and begged to go back for him. “No,” replied the young officer “I cannot risk losing you too!”
The soldier disobeyed and headed back into the fight, found his wounded buddy, and carried him back. He, himself, was wounded in the process, though. The officer saw the soldier return, carrying his friend who had died on the way back.
“You disobeyed my orders!” the officer exclaims. “Your buddy is dead and now you are wounded, too. Now, I have lost you both.”
The soldier responds, “You do not understand, sir. It was all worth it. Because when I got there, my buddy said, `I knew you would come.'”
The Red Cross and the Armed Forces Alumni Association ask you to come to our Blood Drive, next Wednesday, October 10 from 12:00 to 6:00 pm in Shad.
We know that many of you want to donate, and we have tried vigorously to add capacity for this drive. As you may know, the Red Cross is under heavy strain right now-collecting donations and has turned away hundreds of people from other area drives. Typically, the Red Cross collects between 300 and 400 donations per day in Eastern Massachusetts. Right now, they are averaging 1,200 a day.
Since we are not able to lengthen or add days to the October 10th drive, we are planning a January drive in addition to our usual April drive. Please note these important guidelines
o Please pre-screen yourself closely with the traditional requirements listed at newenglandblood.com and also available through RC section representatives.
o Bring your homework to the drive. We will have the best TOM experts in the world on hand regulating donor flow but want to ensure you have something to read.
o The Red Cross folks deserve special thanks and consideration. We welcome any gesture folks want to take in thanking them next Wednesday.
o If you cannot or do not want to donate blood, we still need extra volunteers for the drive.
o If you have a Red Cross donor card or Military ID card showing your blood type, please feel free to bring them.
The actual donation takes six to ten minutes, depending on the individual. Donors need to be at least 17 years of age, weigh 110 pounds, and be in good health.
For more information and to schedule an appointment (walk-ins are also welcome) please see your section representative, or contact Ben Ryan or Grace Park for RC (bryan@mba 2003. hbs.edu or email@example.com) or Brendon Dibella for EC, faculty, and staff (bdibella@mba2002 .hbs.edu).
Some common questions and concerns:
1. “What are the most common eligibility requirements?”
You must be 17 years old, not have donated blood in the last 8 weeks, weigh at least 110 lbs, and not have lived in the UK from 1980-1996 for a total of 6 months or more. Past residents in a malarial area more than 3 years ago or travelers through a malarial area 12 months ago are also not eligible to donate. More information on pre-screening can be found at www.newenglandblood.org.
2. “They’ll take too much, and I’ll feel weak.”
Less than a pint is all that’s donated. Your body manufactures new blood constantly and what you give will be replaced within hours. Doctors say healthy persons may give regularly.
3. “They wouldn’t want my blood because of the illnesses I’ve had.”
Many illnesses do not affect the quality of your blood for donation. The staff on duty will review your medical history before you make your donation.
4. “I’m scared of that needle.”
Nearly everyone feels that way, but after they see how quick and painless the procedure is, the fears vanish. You’ll feel only a slight pinch in the beginning. This is your chance to overcome your fear for a great cause.
5. “Is the procedure safe and clean?”
Absolutely. Blood is collected using a sterile, single-use needle for each donor. It is impossible to catch AIDS or any other disease from donating.