I guess all my previous donations in San Diego have been to the San Diego Blood Bank and not to the Red Cross, because they had no record of me in September when I donated and provoked this mailing. I hadn't actually realized there were two overlapping organizations, and I'm not sure which I "should" be supporting. I found the experience with the Red Cross to be a little more streamlined, and they didn't go over quite as exhaustive a questionnaire before letting me in. Since I'm pretty comfortable that I've never had sex with anyone who had sex with anyone who had sex with anyone who ever ate a monkey brain, I prefer the shorter screening. I'm a little dismayed, though, because apparently all the phone calls, cards, mailers, and flyers I've been getting for the last four years were solely the work of the San Diego Blood Bank. Now that the Red Cross also knows where I live, I'm never going to hear the end of it. I can only give once every 56 days, people. I'm outside that threshold now, and there's a blood drive on campus Tuesday (Red Cross). I also got a flyer for a blood drive Friday (Blood Bank). I guess I'd prefer the Red Cross, but the drive isn't showing up on their web site so I can't make an appointment. I don't know how generous my employer would be about an extended lunch break if there's a significant wait.
So... how about a poll? I know there are a number of people reading this who can't give blood, for good and sufficient reasons (or sometimes for lame reasons, but it's lame on the part of the agencies, not on the part of the people involved). I am not criticizing you. I'm not criticizing anyone, really; I'm only a convenience donor who gives blood if a bloodmobile actually attempts to run her down. I don't have access to transportation to any of the blood banks, which are far away from here. I'm lucky to work in a place where the blood drives come to me. I'm just curious about the notion that most people who give blood only do it once.
How often do you give blood?
Never, because I can't (would be deferred or have health issues that won't let me).
Never, but I could if I wanted to.
I did once, but never since.
Occasionally... say, if I run across a bloodmobile and don't have other obligations.
On a regular basis, including making appointments or actually going to blood banks.