Hi, I am Caroline Pember, the Student Red Cross Club Secretary for the 2011-2012 school year! I started donating blood when I was 17 in High School. My High School held a blood drive one day and it seemed like everyone was donating to get out of class... and to be honest that's a big reason why I donated. I mean, yes I knew it was a good thing to do, but I never really realized how important donating blood is until I got to Penn State in my Freshman year. Nothing really crazy happened when I donated. I felt a slight prick and there was barely any pain at all. I got to stay at the canteen, eat and socialize as long as I wanted.
Fast forward to the beginning of my freshman year, I constantly saw signs for blood drives. I figured, since I donated before, I could do it again... Plus, it seems like they really need people to donate. So, I went to Pollock Commons to donate blood for the second time. I ended up feeling the same way that I had after my first donation. Donating wasn't hard.. it was a piece of cake (Which Is was I got a the canteen that day after I donated... well, maybe it was cookies, but I though that was fitting :)) Though I felt the finger prick a bit, It was nothing to really worry about.
At that point, I thought, "Well, cool. I get to eat cookies and other fun treats for laying down, donating blood, for less than 10 minutes! Sounds good to me!" So, I continued to donate and eventually joined the Student Red Cross Club at Penn State and realized just how important donating blood is. Yeah, I knew donating blood could help save lives. What I didn't know is how much blood is needed CONSTANTLY. I realized that so many people need blood- from cancer patients, to victims of car accidents, to premie babies, etc. People in car (or other) accidents coul potentially need 100 units of blood (that's 100 people's donations!!!) WOW. What's even crazier to think about is that every two seconds, someone needs blood. Because of this constant need for blood, we need people to consistantly give blood who are able. I am so passionate about blood donation for these reasons, but I am even more passionate about donating because I actually know people who have needed blood transfusions to save their lives-- my THON children, Gabe and Fisher. Actually seeing these kids having fun and enjoying life now, knowing that they were hurting for many months/ years, makes me want to help others that are like them- that are not doing too well.
Donating blood had been a great experience for me not only because of the free food (HUB Peanutbutter cookies!!) but because I know that I am helping someone- potentially saving their life.