Southern & Jewish
Southern & Jewish celebrates the stories, people, and experiences – past and present – of Jewish life in the American South. Hosted by the Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life, posts come from educators, students, rabbis, parents, artists, and many other “visitors-to and daily-livers-of” the Southern Jewish experience. From road trips to recipes to reflections, we’ll explore a little bit of everything – well, at least all things Southern and/or Jewish. Shalom, y’all!
This is a crazy time of year. Life is hectic. We’re working and scheduling those last few very important meetings before “EVERYONE” is on vacation through the end of 2016. We’re running out to (or hosting) holiday gatherings, and of course even a few days into Hanukkah, there’s probably still the pressure of shopping for that perfect gift for several people on your list! But there’s one gift we should seriously consider adding to all of our lists…
…and what if I told you, you could give that perfect gift, it doesn’t cost you any money, and forces you to sit down and relax for about 30 minutes.
Wouldn’t you do that??
I would, and I did.
I received a text this week that read: URGENT HOLIDAY NEED – donate blood at Reservoir Kroger!
And I immediately thought, Yes. That’s worth making the time for, even in the midst of all the holiday hubbub.
I used to be a fairly regular blood donor, but then it became inconvenient, and gradually just didn’t make it into my schedule. I didn’t make it a priority, so I haven’t given blood in a couple of years. Human blood donations are needed by so many people. Let’s face it – we haven’t yet perfected synthetic blood (although as I wrote this blog post and did a quick Google search, there is tremendous research taking place in this field. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, several companies are working on creating effective and safe artificial blood.) But until that time, individuals who are in need of blood transfusions, those having surgery or who have blood related health issues, rely on you and me – those of us who are eligible to give blood.
I felt like I had truly accomplished something by giving that minimal amount of time. I was happy to have done a mitzvah. After all, the preservation of human life takes precedence over all the other commandments in Judaism. I thought about my donation. I won’t know who received my blood and it doesn’t matter. I have helped save a life. It made my day, and hopefully gave someone else some more good days. It was truly a perfect gift during this season of giving.
I went home after receiving a sugary drink which I rarely drink, and a pamphlet to take home in case I had any adverse reactions (I didn’t), and so on. Hand-written on the pamphlet was the date that I would next be eligible to give blood: February 14. I think I’ll book that appointment now, before it gets away from me.
During this holiday season, and throughout the year, give a truly meaningful gift – for others and for yourself. Here’s where to find a blood donation center near you. Make the time; it’s more than worth it.