Inspired by Helen’s post about Meals On Wheels, I want to mention another way you can give back to Los Angeles:
Donate Platelets. Literally give a part of yourself.
I can hear most of you, “Donate what?” Platelets baby, platelets! From the SoCal Red Cross website:
Platelets are blood components that help control bleeding. Platelets are critically important to the survival of patients with clotting problems, aplastic anemia, leukemia, cancer, [and to burn patients] and to patients who will undergo organ translplants or major surgeries like heart “by-pass” grafts.
You may ask, Why not just donate blood? Donating blood is a great idea. But let’s look at some facts and figures. Donated blood lasts about 42 days in storage (good shelf life!), but blood donors can only donate every 56 days (hmmm, that’s almost two months between donations.) Platelets only last five (5) days in storage (not good shelf life) but donors can donate again after only two weeks. That means you can donate up to 24 times a year. Think of the lives you’ll help support and save.
More about platelet donation and where to give after the clicky-clicky.
Donating platelets is easy, it just takes some time. For a regular donation allow for about 2 hours from start to finish. This time includes filling out paper work, having an interview with one of the nurse technicians (they check your medical history, test your blood pressure and iron levels.) I go to the UCLA Blood and Platelet Center and the BEST part is, once you get on the chair to donate, you get to watch a movie of your choice from their HUGE library of DVDs. Or you can surf the web, or even just read a book (that is, if you are good at reading one handed as your other arm is busy giving life.) Afterward, there is no rush to leave. Chill out, finish watching your movie, check your email. Go get your juice and cookies. Take pride in what you have done. Go home and rest knowing that in about 24 hours the platelets you have donated will already have been replaced by your beautiful body.
Oh and if all of that is not incentive enough, UCLA B and P Center gives you free movie passes to AMC or Pacific theaters to thank you for your time. They also have drawings every month. Over the Christmas holidays last year they were giving away a Mac laptop. Recently they were giving away iPods and groceries from Whole Foods. I’ll let you know if they will be giving away iPhones. That would get you in, wouldn’t it?
The staff at UCLA is great, very fun and kind and totally professional. Parking is free in the lot behind their location.
Click here for lots more information about platelets and how they work.
UCLA Blood and Platelet Center
1045 Gayley Avenue
Los Angeles (Westwood), CA, 90024
(310) 206-6187 for Apheresis donation appointments and information
(310) 825-0888 for Blood donation appointments and information
You can also check the Southern California Red Cross site for info on other places to donate blood and platelets.