Yesterday I received a new American Red Cross Donor ID Card in the mail. The card indicated that I hve donated blood 5 times. A letter that accompanied the card said that those efforts had saved over 15 lives. That’s awesome! It really puts into perspective how just a little bit of my time can have a major inpact on someone else and those who love them. I haven’t yet needed blood myself, but I have certainly known others, including my own mother, who has.
We have a blood drive at work about every six months so I usually give blood then since it is so convenient. We typically have a blood drive at church about the same times so if I can’t make one I can usually make the other. According to the American Red Cross web site, I can donate every 56 days—that’s at least four times a year more than I’m donating now. So, I thought last night about how I can use the GTD methodologies to ensure that I give as frequently as possible. To accomplish this I made a laminated 3×5 card with the following information on it:
Save a Life!
I donated blood on: ____________________
I can donate again in 8 weeks: ____________________
I should find a blood drive in 6 weeks: ____________________
After scheduling your next blood drive place this card back in your tickler file on the day after your scheduled blood drive. Don’t forget to put the date and time on your calendar!
On the day after your scheduled blood drive: erase the dates above, enter the new dates, and place this card in your tickler file for the date to schedule your next blood drive.
I last donated blood on June 12th so that is the date I wrote in the first blank. 8 weeks out from that is August 7th, so that is the date in the second blank. 6 weeks out from that is July 24th, so I put that in the last blank. On June 13th (the day after my last donation) I would have filled out this information and placed the card in my tickler file for July 24th.
When I saw the card on June 24th I would visit www.givelife.org to find the next nearby blood drive on or after August 7th that fit with my schedule. For me that is August 14th. Once I’ve scheduled that appointment and put it on my calendar, I put the index card in my tickler file for August 15th (the day after I give blood).
When I see the the index card on August 15th I will wipe it clean (it’s laminated, remember?), write in August 14th, October 9th, and September 25th and place the card in my tickler file for September 25th to start the cycle over again.
If you have a more elegant way of handling all these reminders, please let me know. It would be nice if the Red Cross could just do all this with email reminders but they don’t seem to have this capability yet. Maybe I should mention it to them and donate some web programming hours to them. Hmmm…
I hope this encourages you to give blood more often. Remember that the life you save may be the life of someone you love.