Monday, January 07, 2008

Go Host A Blood Drive (Because I Said So)

When I first started this blog, among my hopefully witty whinings was how I didn’t hear God’s voice enough. The irony was that in 2006, I heard God’s voice a lot more, and when I say “more” I mean “maybe three times a year if I shut up with the babblings long enough to listen.”

But I was asking a lot of questions in 2006. Not to say I don’t still have questions, but I know now I’ll never get a definitive answer. You could write ‘em all off with a “Because I said so” and not be too far from the mark from what the answer would be.

But where I would catch a charmingly cryptic phrase, “The Answers Will Come.” “In My Time, Not Yours.”, “Let The Idea Speak For Itself, these days, when I think it’s God talking, it’s more of a Jump In My Head Thought that’s surprisingly more specific, which is probably why I hear it less and less.

“Go look up Gabriel, Angel of The Lord,”, was one. “Go ask that woman what you can pray for”, was another. And in August of last year, coming down from a high of Yes! I was able to give blood after three misfires! as I was drifting off to sleep, another one came, and this one said:

You should host a blood drive.

Um, okay. Sure. Why not. Let’s spread my joy and triumph of Facing Your Needle Fear to Da WORLD! I don’t really think I’m Leadership material, (people don’t seem to listen to me, which is fine, I LOVE to gloat, har de ha ha), but I can be Facilitator material, and I can certainly try to facilitate a blood drive at my church. It can’t be hard.

Certainly not hard from the Red Cross’s end of things. They were overjoyed that I wanted to facilitate said opportunity. They’re always looking for ways to connect with the twentysomething and thirtysomething populations of Los Angeles, that’s the biggest demographic of people who don’t give, most often because nobody has never asked them.

Little did I know that my church was in the middle of a restructuring, because my church thought instead of 5 people making all the decisions, it would be much better to expand it to 16+ people making the decisions. And while that does ease the burden bearing, to try and get 16+ people together to make one decision about Should Our Church Host A Blood Drive took awhile. And when I say “Awhile” I mean “4 months.”

I tried not to give up. I tried to banish all pesky thoughts of Nobody Wants This Idea Except For You, Maybe You Should Get On Board With What The Church Wants To Do, Which Is All Things International Justice N’ Stuff, ‘Cause, You Know, International Justice is COOL! Way Cooler To Go On Mission Trips To India And Report Back About Brothels Than It Is To Host A Boring Blood Drive. Way Cooler To Host a Alternative Christmas Marketplace Benefiting Free Trade And Other Stuff Than It Is To Donate Red Blood Cells. Dollars For Mostly International Issues = Cool. Your Plasma For Other People = Not Cool.

No, no, nobody ever said that, just the Paranoid Bitch in my head who’s in desperate need of medication. Yes, I was envious. They had the numbers. They had the publicity. They had tons of people helping them out. It was just me and my lonely little metaphorical Let’s Host A Blood Drive! flag dangling limply in the metaphorical breeze.

Finally, the church got back to me with a date that worked for them. Luckily, a drive had just canceled on the date the church wanted, so the Bloodmobile was free. A-HA! I TOLD you God wants this Blood Drive to happen!

Now the Paranoid Bitch in my head who lives on a steady diet of Red Bull and Pixie Stix shifted tactics: Yeah, you got your precious blood drive, but nobody’s gonna sign up for it. You won’t get your minimum 33 signatures, and you’ll look like a dumbass for wanting this in the first place. Nobody wants a blood drive! They wanna do outreach to at-risk kids on Skid Row! Get with the program already!

Nevertheless, I carted all the many promo materials that the Red Cross sent me (Posters! Sign up sheets! Balloons!) down to the church lobby for two weeks straight. I felt nervous and annoying, much like Tracy Flick and her Pick Flick cupcakes in Election . You want to do this Blood Drive and you don’t even know it!!!

But damned if I don’t get 34 signatures for my blood drive in those two weeks of sign-ups! Not even including me! I make 35! Wheeeeeeee!

My fears are not completely gone, since the Paranoid Bitch in my head who’s got a nasty crystal meth habit and trolls through people’s trash for shredded credit card offers has shifted tactics again to beat out Yeah, you got your precious blood drive, yeah, you got your precious minimum 33 signatures, but all those people are gonna FLAKE! They’ll FLAKE, I’m telling you, and you’ll still look like a dumbass.

But there’s a first time for everything, and so far, even though nobody ever told me this was something the church should do (except, well, you know, GOD), it looks like all people needed was to be asked to do it. Unless they flake. Yeah, yeah. We’ll see.

So here we go, Amy The Writer’s Top 5 Reasons For Why Everyone Should Give Blood:

1. Cookies! They give you cookies, crackers, juice, all sorts of stuff after you donate. FOR FREE! Even if your dentist frowns on Free Sugar, he will not begrudge you the Famous Amos cookies if you’re eating them to boost your blood sugar.

2. A medical excuse not to go to the gym! After you give blood, you're advised not to work out for 24 hours after you donate. So very technically, you get to eat cookies AND not work out. This is a lazy person’s wet dream, people!

3. Conquer your fear! Where else can you challenge a phobia and come out the other side helping somebody? I have a fear of snakes, but handling them doesn't help a single person, unless I’m on a Reality Show competing for a million bucks (which I’m not.) Whereas facing my fear of needles makes me feel like a badass when I make it through AND I saved a life in the process.

4. It's FREE! You don't have to write a check. You don't have to walk through Beverly Hills and snarl up traffic. You don't have to hop a bike down the Western seaboard. All you have to do is lie back
and bleed. Did you nick yourself shaving in the shower? So you bleed accidentally, right? Now you can bleed WITH A PURPOSE.

5. Say what you will about the splatterific SAW franchise, Lionsgate studio partners with the Red Cross to host blood drives for every Saw premiere. People line up on opening night to see a splatter flick AND they give blood. Since 2004, they’ve collected over 38,000 pints. That’s seriously brilliant AND twisted. If a freaky horror movie fanatic can spare a pint, so can you.

You have blood. You have blood to spare. Other people need it. Somebody needs blood every two seconds. So that's now. And...now. And...now now.

You can sign up for any drive at www.givelife.org.

Stay tuned for next week to see who was right – me or Paranoid Bitch. Yay!

1 comment:

Princess Susan said...

Hi Amy -- It's Susan. The girl who used to leave movie quotes on your screen at Blockbuster. (Everyone I've told about the brief is dead.) Ed the stalker sent me the link to your blog -- he also hooked me up with Debbie Myers. Apparently he is on a mission to have the first ever Tallahassee BBV reunion.
Great blog -- and for the record, I think God appreciates a good horror flick as much as He enjoys a well intentioned blood drive. Especially when they're a package deal.