As March comes to an end I find myself thinking how quickly this year is flying by already. I have now completed my third month of my year of giving where I am on the hunt for different ways to help others that don’t necessarily mean donating money to charities because lets face it, we don’t always have spare money, but that shouldn’t mean we don’t help others.
This month I have attempted to help two different organisations and I say attempted beacuse unfortunately one wasn’t successful, I’ll start with that one first.
A while ago I came a cross a charity on facebook that had the most beautiful concept, Gift of a wedding. Their aim is to create free weddings for terminally ill individuals who wish to marry their partners before it is too late. They do this by relying on the good nature of other organisations, either those local to the couple or ones willing to travel to donate goods or services to make the big day perfect. As I was mooching through their page I read some of the stories of the love and happiness of couples who got their dream wedding, from the dress of their dreams to the make up artists making them look and feel amazing, donations of flowers and gorgeous venues, followed by the updates from staff about those that had tragically died not long after saying their vows and I cried. I cried a lot and reminded myself just how blessed I am.
I knew back then that this was a charity I wanted to help in someway, except I have no talent to offer that would be suitable for a wedding day. After thinking long and hard about how I could help I remembered that I do however have a gorgeous blue evening gown type dress that is brand new and would make the perfect bridesmaid dress. So I got in touch and offered my gown for free to any wedding that may be able to use it, after all I would much rather it be enjoyed and danced in at a wedding then hanging in my wardrobe for all eternity. Unfortunately Gift a wedding couldn’t take it. They don’t have the storage facilities and have to operate on a wedding at a time process, which is totally understandable although still a shame. So my act of giving in this instance was not to be but hopefully if you are reading this you will pay their page a visit and share their requests with your friends so they can support more weddings in the future and who knows, maybe someone could even help them out with storage. I however will continue to think of ways I can help them that don’t require financial donations.
The second act of giving was, luckily, more successful. On the 1st March I donated my 4th unit of blood. I first donated blood 3 years ago as part of a bucket list of things I wanted to complete before I turned 30. Giving blood was something that had been one of those things I wanted to do but never seemed to get the time but after a friend told me her birth story of when her life was literally saved by the donation of others and then pointed out that having received blood she was now no longer able to donate herself, I realised just how important it is to donate now, whilst you can. Although I haven’t given blood regularly since then I am doing so more often and have already booked my next appointment.
It takes roughly 1 hour to give blood from check in to check out, most of which is sat waiting because the actual donation time is roughly 15 minutes. One hour out of your day to help save a life is nothing when you think about it. The process is relatevily pain free apart from a small scratch when they insert the needle but it is over so quickly and you can’t feel the blood being withdrawn or anything weird like that, you just sit back and relax for 15 minutes then enjoy a cup of tea and a biscuit or two.
Seven days after I donated I received a text message telling me my blood had been issued to Royal Derby hospital, 80 miles from where I live. The fact it has been used so quickly is a little bitter sweet, it’s awesome that they used it and makes it worth donating but obviously the fact it was needed means that someone was either in an accident or very poorly which isn’t a nice thought, but I will continue to donate as often as I can because it is clearly needed.
Not everyone can give blood for a variety of reasons but if you can I urge you to stop putting it off and book an appointment today. If you are unsure if you can donate then check out this website but don’t make assumptions as the rules do change to enable more people to donate as often as they can.
My year of giving is going well so far and it is definitely making me consider how I can help others. I hope reading these posts make you aware of ways you can help too and if you have any other suggestions then please do let me know as I am always looking for new ideas.