Since the Sandy Hook tragedy I've been thinking a lot about what I could do in their honor. Ideas of random acts of kindness floated around facebook and while it's appealing, I didn't love the idea. In the first place I couldn't really think of any acts of kindness that were meaningful that didn't involve giving money. Secondly nearly all the acts of kindness I'd do would go to people who, honestly, didn't need it. While the idea of making someone's day and they "pay it forward" is appealing, I really wanted to do something more meaningful. (Not to take away from people who are doing the random acts of kindness-I think it's a good idea, just wasn't the right one for me.) I thought about sponsoring an extra child or volunteering at a homeless shelter or soup kitchen or food pantry but wasn't sure because of the amount of time that would take. I do have 3 small kids and time is not something I have a lot of. Then it occurred to me. Donating blood! I have never done it before and even now the thought is pretty scary to me. I do okay when I have to give a few drops for medical tests but a whole pint? That's a lot. But I have recently heard some statistics on giving blood and they came to mind. Here's a great article about facts of donating blood. I especially like these ones:
If all blood donors gave three times a year, blood shortages would be a rare event (The current average is about two.).
If only one more percent of all Americans would give blood, blood shortages would disappear for the foreseeable future.
So I have decided not only to give blood next weekend (already made my appointment!) but my long term goal is to give 3 times this coming year. This is all in honor of those precious children, the families who lost them, and the heroic adults. No one may ever know where the blood they are getting is coming from but I can know that I am helping someone's life and it is because of those who lost theirs. While I wish, more than I can express, that this had never happened I am proud to know that their lives have made a difference, in mine and in countless other Americans.