This January 9, there was an event commemorating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the event host, the Red Cross of California donor center in San Jose for the Blind and Visually Impaired Community of the Bay Area. This blood drive had major support from the San Francisco LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired along with Lions Center for the Blind, Orientation Center for the Blind, and Vista Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired. This event branched out to 8 locations throughout the Bay Area as an effort to raise awareness of blood donation as well as the blind community’s support for honoring Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Bryan Bashin, CEO of the San Francisco LightHouse for the blind says “Often, in the past, people have thought of the blind as a group who are the recipients of others’ generosity. We’re hoping to change a bit of that perception by rolling up our sleeves and giving back to the same philanthropic community who has long helped us.”
Potential donors trickled in over the course of two hours, although not quite as busy as its sister locations. There were many smiling attendants and helpers who brought donors snacks, water and various kinds of juices. One couple was happily sitting in the ‘corral’ after giving blood. They informed me that they had recently started donating blood at that particular location.
“I think my blood is useful for someone else, and it’s good. I don’t see why one shouldn’t if they can,” said Kim, a blood donor.
Other donors were on the same page about why they donated. One woman, Heidi, said that her history with donation goes back years. She believes the act of donating is just good and should be done to help others in the community. Her own daughter needed to donate for a hip surgery so she knows the demand for blood is high and always needed. Another gentleman named Steve lives close to the facility. He donates as soon as he is eligible and rides his mountain bike there when he does come by. His answer to why he enjoys donating for the community, “It’s good Karma”.
If you would like to donate blood please make an appointment at 1-800-733-2767 or online at redcrossblood.org