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Of course, not all of us can afford to make monetary donations to every worthy organization such as Red Cross or Canadian Blood Services (CBS). But many of us can donate our time and/or our blood. When I first started donating blood, the blood services program was operated by the Canadian Red Cross. The blood services program was transferred to CBS in 1998.
It's my feeling that it is our civic duty to donate blood. As the number of people who are not allowed to donate blood rises, it is increasingly important for those of us who are able to do so. For instance, if I spend three more days in France or England, I will no longer be allowed to donate blood in Canada because I will have reached the cut-off point for accumulated number of days spent in France and England since 1980. (See Possible Exposure to CJD or vCJD)
For some time now, I have been in the apheresis program, donating platelets. Granted, the platelet donation is somewhat time consuming (it takes 2 to 3 hours) because the red blood cells are returned to allow for more frequent donations. The donation area is quiet and many donors bring work-related reading material with them. Where I donate, some others opt to watch relatively current movies that one of the regular donors donates to the clinic (headphones are used so the room is still quiet for those who are reading or studying). If you don't have 2 to 3 hours to spare, the simpler 'red blood cells' donation is finished in about 30 minutes. 30 minutes a day every 56 days isn't really that much to ask, is it?