Although it may seem like an odd thing to do on a weekend, donating blood is the sort of altruistic gesture that can leave a person feeling very good about themselves. Even better, if done in the company of family, friends or work colleagues, the outing can become just as much of a social act as a charitable one.
According to the Australian Red Cross's figures, only about one in 30 people give blood- despite the fact that one in three of us will eventually need some. It's in everybody's interests to improve that rate, because as these stories prove, the gift of blood is synonymous with the gift of life.
Before giving blood, it's important to fill up your stomach and eat plenty of water. Bring ID with you to the clinic, and be prepared for the whole process (paperwork, donation and recovery) to last an hour.
Once all that has been taken care of, it's time to treat yourself! It's natural to feel a bit drained (pun intended), so there's no need to feel guilty about enjoying a proper feed. Some people suggest eating something high in iron; others something sweet. One thing everyone agrees on, though, is the importance of rehydrating. That means you and your group should relocate to a nice cafe or restaurant, allowing yourselves the opportunity to recharge in the most comfortable of ways. And, while you're at it, you can all swap war stories, voting on who was the biggest cry baby and who was the biggest show pony!
Should everything turn out to everybody's satisfaction, there's no reason why the experience need be a one-off. Instead, make a group pledge to become members of the Frequent Donor Club. That way, saving lives- and socialising on the side- can become a regular part of the schedule!
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