Every 2 months I give blood or plasma. Its whatever they need. I get a recording back from life share on whose life I've saved using my blood. I don't know how much a pint of my blood cost. I know if your a pint short, a person is going to die. I like being part of the big picture in saving a life. To me it's the American thing to do. I don't care what race or country a person comes from. I just think of the child I may help save or the mommy or daddy that may get to come back home and take care of their family. If im breaking your heart then please go give blood to save that person or childs life.
I used to do the plasma thing. Twice a week, every week for about a year. Things changed in my life where I sadly have less time for that right now. My sticking point is that they still don't allow gay people to donate. Hetero people can be super promiscuous and can donate unless they know they got something, but a gay couple have sex once and can't donate for a while year...
I donate platelets regularly. It takes a couple of hours so I usually grab a movie from Redbox beforehand so I'll have something to entertain me while I'm hooked up to the apheresis machine. It's very fulfilling when the nurses tell me things like "You just saved the lives of 3 cancer patients today!"
I have my 3 gallon pin from the red cross, however I haven't been able to donate to them for the last several years. About 7 or 8 years ago, they changed the screening test they use to detect syphillis. I have some autoimmune things that trigger a false positive for syphillis. The red cross has to do a more determinative test, and of course I don't have syphillis, but they are required to throw the blood away, even though it's as clean as a whistle. So they sent me a nice letter asking me to NOT donate, and encouraged me to send money instead. I've made calls and written letters, but there is no way around this as far as they are concerned. It pisses me off, because I am like you, it should be a humanitarian act that everyone performs.
I give platelets as often as I can - it's a 2 hour time commitment that is well worth it. If a larger percentage of eligible donors actually did - we would never have a blood shortage. Here in the Orlando area, after the horrific Pulse shootings, there were lines out the doors of bloodmobiles and donor centers - such a great coming together of community. Now, 2 years later, we are donating in memory of the victims of that night. But it does not need to be a special event. As @BucketlistBob says so well - help the child, or the parents of the children!
When I lived in a more populated area I gave blood all the time, as well as plasma. Being the universal donor, I always felt it important to give back to the world in this way. Unfortunately, since moving to a more rural area, AND being told I shouldn't give anymore due to low ferritin, I no longer have the option, as the health care facilities do not have the equipment to take plasma donations, which would be possible in spite of the issue with my blood.
Oh, and I am also Canadian, eh?
My childhood as a military brat actually puts me in a group that is not supposed to donate.
My dad was stationed in Europe from 1976 to 1980 and the military bases over there got their meat from England. We fell in the time window for 'mad-cow' concerns.