Founded on May 21, 1881, the American Red Cross celebrates its 140th anniversary this year. Almost 100 years later, ECE is also making a difference, both in its community and across the globe.
As part of our series on volunteers, we're looking at how ECE employees use their service time to give back...or in this case, give blood! Many thanks to our volunteer, Karen Krug. To find out more about service at the American Red Cross, visit their website https://www.redcross.org/
Using volunteer time to donate blood
When I was growing up, my dad went to donate blood on a regular basis. Not only was he generally in good health, he also had a particularly useful blood type. We were all used to the fact that if he didn’t go as soon as he was eligible again, we would start getting almost daily calls from the Red Cross to remind him.
Early in my college career, a blood drive was held on campus. Remembering my dad’s example, I thought I would give it a try. My first donation went well, and I found that my blood type is also in high demand, so I have continued to donate regularly. (Rather early on, I learned the hard way not to donate on an empty stomach – there’s nothing quite like waking up to a circle of concerned faces asking “Are you OK?” and wondering why they would think I wasn't!)
There's no substitute for actual blood (or components of the blood) for those suffering from severe injuries, cancer, or some chronic illnesses. It can’t be manufactured in a lab, but has to come from people who donate it. Donating blood takes only an hour or so out of my day every couple of months, and costs me nothing more than brief discomfort, yet each donation saves lives and helps others return to health. And now I remember to eat before I go.
Karen Krug is a Research & Knowledge Management Evaluator and has been with ECE since 2010. She specializes in education from East Asia, Latin America, British Isles, and former Soviet countries.