Now I am not remotely religious, but I do try to be a good person and do my bit to make the world a bit better. This was originally just going to be a post about blood donation, but seeing as the world is kind of a clusterfuck at the moment I thought I would put together a short list of simple things you can do, even today when everything is closed!
Ok, so you might not be able to actually donate today, but you can go online (donateblood.org.au) and determine if you are eligible to donate, and then make an appointment!
Now I know not everyone can donate- for example, you’re ineligible if you lived in the UK for more than 6 months between 1980 and 1996 (due to mad cow disease); or male who has had sex with another male within the past 12 months (a policy I don’t agree with, but is unfortunately still deemed necessary- you can read more here) – but if you’re generally healthy, and don’t mind needles, you should be fine!
The staff at every donor centre I’ve been to (5 I think) have been so lovely and will answer any questions you have. Before you get to the needley part, you will fill out the questionnaire and have an interview with a nurse. They’ll do the final eligibility check, and measure your blood pressure, and measure your haemoglobin levels via finger-prick, which I think hurts more than the big needle!
This is me donating plasma, which I do once a fortnight- your red cells get returned to you after being separated from the plasma, so there is minimal loss of iron. It usually takes me 30-35 minutes on the machine to complete my donation, the exact volume taken depends on your weight.
If you’re eligible to donate platelets, this can be done once a fortnight too. My veins aren’t suitable for platelets (females rarely are) but my husbands’ are- he’s usually on the machine for about 45 minutes, like plasma the volume depends on your weight.
If you’re donating whole blood, you will donate 470mL regardless of your weight- how long this takes will depend on your blood pressure, I usually take 5-10 minutes. If you donate whole blood, you must wait 12 weeks before your next whole blood donation, but only 4 weeks before your next plasma or platelet donation.
Once you’re done with your donation, you hang around for 10-15 minutes and have something to eat and drink- they have the most awesome cookies! How often do you get rewarded with an actual cookie?!
You can donate to the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre. This amazing organisation helps refugees and asylum seekers adjust to life in Australia, offering legal assistance, food banks, education, and more.
You can make a one off donation, order groceries to be delivered, or set-up a monthly donation.
Somewhat related to the above, you can donate sanitary pads to ASRC through Tsuno- a company that makes eco-friendly pads from bamboo fibres and donates 50% of the profits to a range of charities.
A monthly donation of pads to ASRC starts from $6.80- do it here.
Share the Dignity
Still on the feminine hygiene theme, you can help homeless women in Australia by donating pads and tampons to Share the Dignity this month during their April donation drive. Stop a woman from using newspaper or socks, or from having to choose between food and tampons by finding your closest donation point here.
Don’t be a dick!
(pins, key-rings, and stickers with this delightful message here!)
Enjoy your long weekend, and if you have to work- thank you! xx