Then the magic starts. My personal attending nurse prepares the machine, and, with the most insignificant needle poke, I'm hooked up. That's it. An hour to two hours later, depending on what the magic computer says I can give, I am disconnected, encouraged to have more drinks and snacks before leaving, and treated in general like a queen.
There is so much need in our world. Most of us will never be able to give like Bill Gates or inspire like Gandhi. But this is one way I can give to someone who needs it, something I'm so grateful to have: healthy blood. It's painless, free, and, unlike a financial contribution, I'll never miss it.
[Originally published in December, 2012.]