I’ve a blood donation confession.  I’ve never rolled up my sleeve.  It’s not that I’m opposed to the idea.  When I give up some blood at the lab I’m always a wee bit queasy.

The number of people in America who actually give blood is quite small.  Blood banks survive on donations from a handful of volunteers who give often.  More than their fair share.  People who believe they’ve got an obligation to the community. 

The key for blood donations is frequency.  Stored blood doesn’t have a permanent shelf-life.

Neighboring Utah is just such a place.  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints explains at this link its members are the largest block of donors in the state.

I’m not surprised.  The organization staffs successful food pantries.  President Trump visited one a few years and spoke highly of the commitment to community.  In a country where people are increasingly insular in their daily lives, Utah is more and more an outlier.

The key for blood donations is frequency.  Stored blood doesn’t have a permanent shelf-life.  In the event of a mass casualty event there is often a sudden and quick outpouring of volunteers.  This is what happened after September 11th, 2001.  Sadly, as it turned out, there was very little need for the volume of donated blood in New York City and Washington.

But we live in a part of the country where an earthquake could create a mass casualty event and demand a great need for transfusions.  At a smaller and local level, even something like a bus accident could overwhelm blood supplies in a city.

There were concerns in Utah when the pandemic arrived.  Fears the number of volunteers could take a nosedive.  It didn’t happen.  Donations remained steady.

This shows us people united in faith can step up to the plate.  In a country increasingly mired in the secular, we should consider the direction we’re going culturally.  Just perhaps, some old ways are worth keeping.


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