By Anvitha Marlapati, Los Angeles YAYA: 2021 Red Cross Summer Intern
Have you ever walked into something and were like, “Woah”? I’m talking about the feeling of surprise and startle all knotted together like a lump of clay rooted at the bottom of your stomach, while your eyes widen up like one of the bugs from “A Bug’s Life” movie. Wouldn’t you say this is a noteworthy experience?
I had that exact “woah” moment when I walked into Arcadia High School’s gym on a bright, Friday afternoon. With the hopes of getting a sneak peek of the girls’ varsity volleyball game against our rival, Crescenta Valley, I found myself in the middle of a mini carnival. Only the carnival was not the typical scene you would expect, with the bounce house, junk food and thrilling carnival games. It was the opposite of what I had expected. Twelve booths filled with red pads, snacks, relaxation chairs, couch-made sofas and people dispersed around the slick and squeaky floors of our gym.
Ladies and gentlemen, what I walked into was one of the many events the American Red Cross holds. An event that is filled with students, parents, volunteers, nurses and staff all working together to accomplish a gratifying goal: to save someone’s life. That carnival was a Red Cross blood drive.
It was the most surreal opportunity I have ever experienced. What I saw were angels in the form of humans volunteering to donate their blood to those in need. Such an act of giving not only serves as the foundation of the humanitarian service of the Red Cross, but it instills values such as compassion, benevolence, and empathy in the glowing hearts of the human populace.
Out of the number of events the Red Cross facilitates, a blood drive is one that brings together Angelenos from all walks of life. Established with the hard work of volunteers and faculty, blood drives assist patients in forms of treatments and regimens. With so much time and effort being used to form events like these in schools, communities and regional chapters, the Red Cross still faces a common complication, one that has been emerging in 2021.
Unfortunately, we are currently facing a massive blood shortage. According to the New York Times “due to the progressive return to normal lifestyles, many hospitals are pushing back critical patient care due to the scarcity of blood.”
Many patients undergoing surgeries and treatments need blood. Those that were unable to be admitted into hospitals due to the fear of the pandemic, are in more danger now than ever.
Therefore, if you are eligible to be a donor, I urge you to donate blood. If you can spare 10 minutes of your time, you will be saving a life. Recovery requires unity, and just as there is no fruit without flowers, there is no substitute for the lack of blood other than healthy donors. After all, blood cannot be synthesized in a lab, it can only be created by human beings.
There are many people out there who are in need of your help. Their lives are at stake and those that lie on the hospital beds hoping for a speedy recovery will be saved by your act of service. I hope your contribution and act of kindness will serve to inspire the next generation of healthy donors and magnify the wondrous values of the American Red Cross. Don’t forget that your sacrifice of skipping 10 minutes of your favorite Netflix show to donate blood, will not be in vain as there is another person, somewhere in the world, that will be able to recover due to your act of kindness. Every blood donation can be used to save up to three lives. Just think about how many you could save in a year.
For more information regarding the eligibility requirements to donate blood, visit https://www.redcrossblood.org/donate-blood/how-to-donate/eligibility-requirements.html