My first experience giving blood was not a positive one. Intellectually, I liked the idea of donating blood. What could be a more a generous act than to give of an essential part of my self in order to offer a life-saving benefit to someone in need? But when I was in my early 20’s living in Berkeley , I was naïve and didn’t think to ask any of my friends what to do before walking into the Red Cross bloodmobile. I probably did not eat much of a breakfast that day. As I watched a needle being threaded into my arm, I was queasy. By the time I finished donating, I was not feeling my best. When I stood-up to leave, well, let’s just say I did not walk out of that bloodmobile right away. In fact, I passed out.
I have learned a lot about donating blood since that time. Thanks to Christina Broadwin who does such a great job organizing our Temple ’s blood drive I have had multiple opportunities to surpass my first experience. I even look forward to this activity that is such a simple yet significant mitzvah. I make sure to eat nutritious meals before I donate. I drink copious amounts of water to be well hydrated. Lastly, I have learned that when it’s my time to lie down to give blood, I put on my headphones and dial-up my Motown station on Pandora. Nothing gets my heart pumping and my hand squeezing that rubber ball than the Temptations, Smoky Robinson, and Marvin Gaye!
I am proud that our congregation is committed to performing this mitzvah on an annual basis. As the Red Cross reminds us, every pint of donated blood has the potential to save up to three lives. This year our Blood Drive will be held on Tuesday, March 11, from 2-7pm. You can schedule an appointment by calling 800-733-2767, or you can contact Christina at 510-710-1731 for more information. Even if you do not make an appointment, on March 11, you can still walk in to our Social Hall to donate blood. And, if you need a little music to help you through the experience, let me know. I can’t hit the high notes like Smokey Robinson, but I’ll do my best.