Second Highlight, Blood Donation

Hey everyone! So this highlight will be a little bit different from my first. You may have guessed from the post title that this will be about blood donation, which any of you can participate in, in any state! I know that giving blood makes some people feel squeamish, but hear me out, I feel you.

The reason that I am highlighting this particular cause is because it’s something that I do regularly, and it terrifies me. I began donating blood when the tragedy in Orlando occurred earlier this year, and after finding out I’m O+, I now go every 8 or so weeks.

Here’s the thing, though, every single time I donate I come incredibly close to throwing up and passing out, I have to have someone to talk to throughout the entire process, and it’s vital that I have a Sprite at the ready. During my most recent visit, the tubing carrying the blood to the pack touched my hand at one point and it took everything in me to not run out of the room screaming. In fact, I was just sent a “Thank You” email from the Indiana Blood Center where they said, “The pint (or so) of blood you just donated weighed roughly a pound.” I read that and closed my email as fast as I possibly could! You got a pound of blood from me? No, thank you!

I thought it would get better the more I’ve given, but it hasn’t, and yet I still do it. As an O+ blood type, I’m capable of giving to O+, A+, B+, and AB+ blood types. That’s a lot of dang people I’m able to directly impact! I tell you this to say, that sometimes helping others and doing the right thing can be scary. It can challenge you in different ways.

Just because you’re scared, doesn’t mean you’re not helping others. I challenge everyone to face a fear and help someone else.

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First Highlight, Limbs for Life

As I’ve mentioned, I will be donating to a non-profit in either Indiana, Texas, or Louisiana every 2 weeks. In my off weeks, though, I will be highlighting a non-profit to share with you all!

I am incredibly fortunate to have a family who supports me in pretty much everything I do, especially my mom! So for my very first highlight, I have chosen a non-profit with a focus that my mom is interested in.

Limbs for Life is located in Oklahoma City, OK and is a “global…organization dedicated to providing fully-functional prosthetic care for individuals who cannot otherwise afford it and raising awareness of the challenges facing amputees.”

They are able to help those stateside by “work[ing] with prosthetic clinics and skilled clinicians  nationwide who donate their time, labor and energy to help those in need.” To reach out globally they “[accept] gently-used prosthetics and prosthetic components from individuals who no longer need them. [T]hese used, but functional components…are able to reach hundreds of amputees in developing countries and provide them with an inexpensive prosthetic option.”

One of the cool things about Limbs for Life is that they have built a strong support system within their own community through engagement opportunities. Those engagement opportunities include the Blaze 5k which is held in partnership with the Oklahoma City VA Medical Center and Hangar Clinic, drawing about 500 runners and walkers to the Oklahoma River. They are further supported by Scott Sabolich Prosthetics, which hosts a golf tournament each fall with partners like MidFirst Bank and Chili’s.

If you’re interested in donating to Limbs for Life, click here. They provide options to donate online, by mail, and by phone! Providing someone with a properly fitting prosthetic can make such a difference in a person’s life – the gift of mobility, the self-esteem to follow their dreams, the list goes on.

If you’re interested in supporting non-profits in this vein, below I’ve included a list of some other cool orgs I found.

I’ll be sharing my second donation next week, but comment below if you know of any awesome non-profits I should add to my donations and highlights list!