Go Green. Beat Blue. Give Red.
I've given blood probably around 10 times in my life, but until today, it had been several years. Let's just say, the Red Cross still has Stefanie Spiro in their files.
Still, when FOX 47 reported about the annual Blood Challenge between Michigan State and the University of Michigan, I knew it would be a great opportunity to get back in the donating swing.
Not to mention, donors received a pretty cool free t-shirt - talk about sugar on top.
Despite some changes from the donating process, everything was relatively similar to what I've experienced before.
They had a great 80s rock station blasting in the lounge of West Akers Hall on MSU's campus, and the Blood Cross workers were all very nice and pleasant.
From start to finish, the whole process took about 45 minutes.
The longest part of the process is the pre-screening and paperwork. Even after I was cleared of those stages, it still took time for the Red Cross worker to go through the process of scanning all of my documents and prepping my arm.
The actual donation time took about 10 minutes. I saw other donors with headphones and their iPods - such a smart idea! Especially for those who are first-time donors or a little squeamish.
I will admit that I've had fainting episodes at home after cutting myself in the kitchen, but despite that, I've never had an issue when it comes to donating blood. And when you're O-Positive, it only seems right to be a regular donor.
One thing I was hoping hadn't changed in the years since I last donated was the choice of getting a hot pink bandage. This picture is from a day that I donated blood in 2006 at MSU.
Typically, the bandages in the past had been the generic white variety, but nothing made me happier after giving blood that day than getting an electric pink bandage to sport for part of the day.
When I asked the Red Cross workers today if it was something they still offered, they told me that the Red Cross had instead implemented a red bandage for everyone.
While it's no electric pink, I definitely understand why the Red Cross went this route. Red is all a part of their branding, and as one of the workers said to me, the bandage is crossed around the arm, which further shows the idea of the Red Cross.
Ultimately, I hope to become a regular donor again, but it seemed like the perfect time to support my Spartans in their quest to beat Michigan in an area other than sports.
You can visit the official website of the Red Cross to find a place to donate or to get more information. To find donation sites for the annual Blood Challenge, type in MSU for the sponsor code.
And I highly recommend making an appointment. Several people were turned away as I was going through the paperwork process, and it helps to guarantee a quicker experience.
So Go Green, Beat Blue, and Give Red!