Several weeks ago, the American Red Cross announced that blood banks were running lower than usual because of the widespread winter weather across the mid-west and the northeast.
As an accountant, I’m familiar with a term called “intangible assets” — a phrase that describes benefits that go beyond the bottom line. The American Red Cross website reminds potential donors that blood is something money cannot buy, it can only be passed from one person to another.
In a 2008 with National Public Radio, a teenager named Sophie Davis described her activities as her high schools blood drive organizer: “. . .I visited about 14 class and talked directly to students about the blood drive,” she explained. She emphasized to her fellow classmates the surreal feeling of realizing that a pint of blood leaving their bodies could potential save three lives.
My daughter put off donating blood for many years because she hates hypodermic needles. “But, once I realized that I didn’t have to watch the needle go in or the blood go out, I began to regularly donate.”
Because 10% of all blood donors are teenagers and young adults living on college campuses, it’s important to stress the fact that the only side affect is feeling a bit lightheaded. But that’s not a problem because the staff in charge of the drive gives you free cookies and juice to compensate!
Another plus re donating blood: you get a mini health screening before you proceed. A nurse will check your blood pressure and blood count to make sure you’re a viable donor. And, if you don’t know your blood type, you will after you donate.
What about those who are anemic or diabetic? You can still donate if you are currently being treated by your health care provider.
Perhaps the biggest bonus that comes with donating blood is how good it makes you feel. We human beings feel more connected with each other when we give of ourselves. As the Red Cross reminds us, “The need [for donated blood] is constant, the gratification is instant.” That’s a pretty good return on such an intangible asset.