August 2011-
I am starting a 29-Day Challenge to give one gift each day and see how it affects my life. I have always considered myself a giver, but I feel this challenge will challenge and focus me on giving more. I was inspired by the book 29 Gifts: How a Month of Giving can Change your Life. I ran across it 2 years ago in a bookstore in Springfield, MO, and I titled a piece of paper 29 Gifts. I found that same piece of paper the other day, and I saw it as a sign to start the challenge. You can learn more about the book and challenge at

After 1 month of giving, I have continued this challenge in giving and sharing the stories with others. Hope you enjoy reading about my adventures with giving!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Day 1: Giving Blood

Today my gift was blood.  I went to the local Manhattan Community Blood Drive to donate blood to the American Red Cross.  I have been giving blood for about seven years now.  My best friend Becca gave blood in high school, and I thought it was really cool.  She inspired me to give blood, and I have been doing it ever since.  Today the Blood Drive's theme was the "Battle of the Badges" where the local Police Department, Fire Department, and EMS were battling for the most votes.  They were giving away free ice cream and even had a BBQ for donors. 

I always enjoy giving blood because I know I am potentially helping three people with each donation I give.   Also, I enjoy the people.  Everyone is always so upbeat and friendly.  Today the American Red Cross workers were dealing with a new computer system, so things weren't going exactly as smooth as usual.  I was able to give my patience when I had to wait longer than usual during the screening process.   I could see my calm demeanor was rubbing off on the workers, and they worked together to solve the problem.  

Another positive to my blood donation experience is that I got to talk to this really nice volunteer today.  I don't really like needles so when they poke me I always look away.  One of the volunteers, an older lady, came to talk to me to distract me from the poke of the needle.  She was wearing this sweet sweatshirt with the ties and beads hanging off of it; I love grandma sweatshirts!  It was really delightful to get a chance to talk to her and hear about her experiences with the American Red Cross.  She said that they used to have blood drives on the bottom floor of the dorms on K-state campus.  She got involved with the American Red Cross in the late 60s, but after being exposed to Hepatitis C she is no longer eligible to give.  She said her goal was to give 10 gallons of blood after seeing another donor wearing a 10 gallon pin at a local blood drive.  She only had the chance to give 8 gallons of blood before her exposure to Hepatitis C.  Well my new goal is to give 10 gallons, and if I get the change I want to give that lady my 10 gallon pin.  She deserves it.  I recognize her every time I go to give blood.  She is a friendly face and a reliable American Red Cross volunteer in the community.  Giving blood not only makes you feel great but you get to meet a lot great people too!  Also, you get free food/drinks, sometimes sweet t-shirts, and the knowledge that you are helping others!  The next Community Blood Drive in Manhattan is September 29th and 30th!  Hope to see you there!

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