You know you do it. You see a plea for help come across your Facebook page for a donation request of money, time or your signature on a petition. Occasionally the request is something as serious as an organ donation, or at least asking for you to sign a donor card for ‘future use’. We click Like to show yes, we have a heart and really want our friends to SEE that we care. We share in hopes someone else will pick up the slack and donate in our place. Hey, after all, WE clicked the button and gave of our social graph. If we happened to skip the coffee run in the morning we might even be inclined to throw a few bucks to the charity to appease our guilt.

Okay, back up here. I’m not calling YOU out on the carpet alone. I am completely guilty of doing all of these things. I only have so much time, energy, and money to give away. I give so little of that to my own family so giving to complete faceless strangers is crazy. Well, until they aren’t faceless and their lives depend on it. And – here come the feels – they are infants. All they need is my blood. I can make more.

blood-donationsMy Facebook stream is full of new babies lately. There must have been some sort event 10 months ago that produced all these new humans to show up around the same time. Today I glanced over and saw a picture of a newborn with his big sister lovingly looking over him. As is done sometimes with newborns, the infant was in a warmer and hooked up to a few monitors and the like. Now, it doesn’t matter at this point if this is the actual infant needing help (I have no idea), but the picture did the trick. I stopped to read the latest status on whichever of my friends posted a update on their new baby. Except it wasn’t a typical update. It was an emergency plea for help.

I read the words AB type donors (which I am), Level III NICU, and 22 beds – and knew I’d be helping. Now the problem. Do I just press Like or Share, feel good about myself and go about my typical day? These are infants in my area. Any one of them could have easily been from a local friend that just had a baby or is about to.

As my mouse hovered over the Share button, I thought how I would feel as a mom to see hundreds of Likes and Shares and comments rallying the troops to help MY baby… only to see an empty appointment book when it came down to brass tacks. A social network full of well meaning friends and supporters that don’t follow through to help. I picked up the phone and booked an appointment to donate platelets before I even knew what the procedure entailed.

My reason for acting – besides it being the RIGHT thing to do? Last year before my arm surgery I wanted to donate blood after the bus accident in my area, but couldn’t because it would have interfered with my ability to recover from my own trama. Donating blood then wouldn’t have saved any immediate lives from the accident (that I know of) but to be perfectly honest I felt a tremendous level of stress because area parents showed up to donate in and I did NOT.

Listen, I get that not everyone can donate money, time or body parts (which apparently blood is considered). If you can’t – you can’t. Just don’t make a ‘big deal’ out of it or try to turn it into a woe-is-me story. I see that all the time. Just Like or Share. You don’t owe anyone an explanation. Help when you can, support when you can.

But sometimes, just sometimes, you can actually pull through and deliver. For me today was that day.

Thanks Janie for sharing this on Facebook. Maybe next time you will be the right blood type!!

I’ll be at the Community Blood Council of New Jersey on Monday donating platelets. Since I’ve never donated platelets – or blood – before, I was told by the coordinator Christine I should expect the whole thing to take two hours.

For more information on donating blood products

In New Jersey Visit:

Community Blood Council of New Jersey
1410 Parkside Ave, Ewing Township, NJ 08638
Phone: (609) 883-9750

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For General Information on Blood Platelet Donation Visit:

American Red Cross 

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So this entire thing will come off looking like a humblebrag (as old and overused as that term is) but it’s honestly meant to get more people to ACT on things and not just LIKE them.