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Old 09-06-2017, 09:20 AM
Location: Williamsburg, VA
3,551 posts, read 2,066,690 times
Reputation: 10361


Several people have asked me how to donate blood to help out hurricane victims. Specifically, the question was if blood needs to be fairly fresh. If so, should they donate a day or two before Irma hits, or a day or two after?

To answer this question: You can donate right now! Donated blood can be preserved. Also, they need a little time to test it, so donations made today would be helpful, indeed.

While we're on the topic, I thought this thread would be a good place to discuss other types of donations. Feel free to jump in!
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Old 09-06-2017, 02:58 PM
Location: Alaska and ... everywhere
14 posts, read 10,091 times
Reputation: 73
@PineyCreek - Thanks for bringing this up... Good point -- blood donations are always crucial. So many injured and so many blood supplies lost during events like Harvey and Irma. It's seriously overwhelming and can feel very hopeless to those in a position to help people. May I also add a couple of notes to yours?

If you're sitting there feeling helpless and wondering what you can do but your pocketbook isn't exactly overflowing, here are some more ideas:

  1. Blood and plasma donations as PineyCreek mentioned above
  2. Donation of your time - see if your community organization, credit union, church or other service organization is collecting donations. They will need people to donate a few hours here and there to help organize, sort, package and prepare all the donations
  3. Consider giving clothing, blankets, shoes and household items to Salvation Army and other similar organizations earmarked for the Hurricane zones
  4. Look at your credit card bill Awards Program. Sure, you may want that third-rate toaster oven they are pushing (which usually breaks in 6 months), but hey, maybe they offer gift cards for not too many points. You can trade points for a couple of $50 Home Depot cards and send those to people you know in the affected areas or donate them to the groups collecting goods and services.
  5. Did you stay at a Best Western Hotel several years ago and join the points club? Are those points just sitting there and maybe about to expire? Best Western has a program where you can donate those points towards a stay for someone in the affected areas who needs a hand up while they get things back together. Check all your hotel awards memberships - those 500 points will take a long time to benefit you, but added to dozens of others' 500 points, you have a hefty stay package for some bereft family.
  6. Are you an occasional prepper? Did you buy too many prepper supplies back in 2010 and now those are about to expire? That food could be used today in any of the Food Bank kitchens across the south. Check expiration dates and share rather than waiting 5 more months to toss it out.
  7. ASK -- if you know anyone in the affected areas, call and say something on the order of, "Hey, I'm praying for you, but I know you need a bit more than that. Would it help you more if I send you gift cards, a box of food or some blankets?" (Don't just say, "what do you need?" A lot of people are too proud. You have to give them choices. Not accepting help is not one of their choices...)
  8. Finally - be very very careful about the organizations to whom you donate. Don't want to p1$$ off any red cross employees here, but your track record has been sketchy over the years. My best advice is to give to the HoustonFoodBank.com and whatever the Florida/Puerto Rico/Caribbean equivalents are. This article has a couple of good suggestions, though some of the commenters got their panties in a twist about it.
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Old 09-08-2017, 09:29 AM
Location: Williamsburg, VA
3,551 posts, read 2,066,690 times
Reputation: 10361
Also, even if you don't live near an area affected by the storm, be aware that your local fire fighters and EMTs may have sent a team to help. So, no matter where you live, this is not a good time for non emergency calls. If your cat is stuck in the tree, get a can of tuna. Maybe wait a week to ask the fire dept. to change your smoke detector.
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