Gifts that matter.

There’s a big focus on material gifts this season. Lately, my blanket response when asked by relatives what our one-year-old wants, is “Please nothing plastic that makes noise.”

Said every toddler parent ever.

And while I’m still awkwardly avoiding my own shopping list, I do love the generosity the holidays inspire. And this year I’d like to suggest giving a different kind of gift in addition to those we’ll score at Target (where the endcaps get me EVERY TIME).

This month, please consider donating whole blood, platelets or plasma through the Red Cross​ or another local blood bank.

If you’re a regular donor – you’re awesome. If you’ve thought about it but felt squeamish or too busy, let this post be what moves you to be brave. Here’s why:

If heaven forbid, we or someone we love is in need of blood, we kind of just assume it will be available for us. We figure that accident victims, cancer patients and injured service members have plenty so we can pass on this. I’ll be the first to admit there are many things I’d rather do. But guys, sometimes babies and kiddos with cancer have to be admitted to hospitals when there isn’t a ready supply available. Because we aren’t acting. And that kills me.

The bad news is there’s a big ongoing shortage. The good news is this is a totally solvable problem we can all fix, for free!

Chew on this:

  • Every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood. Every. Two. Seconds.
  • More than 41,000 blood donations are needed every day.
  • More than 1.6 million people were diagnosed with cancer last year. Many of them will need blood, sometimes daily, during their chemotherapy treatment.
  • A single car accident victim can require as many as 100 pints of blood.

How many of the 15 million units needed in the U.S. in 2016 might be for someone you love? How many of those did you and your family help contribute?

I don’t say this to bring doom and gloom to a joyous season, I present it as a fast, easy way to save someone’s life. And maybe I am trying to make you feel a bit guilty if you haven’t made time for this, because sometimes that’s what we need to act.

If you need any help finding a place to donate, I’m happy to help and I promise it doesn’t hurt. Plus, FREE COOKIES afterward. I like cookies a whole lot.

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