Tuesday, January 15, 2008

If You Hold A Blood Drive, They Will Bleed

Ah, I’m a day late with the posting, so that obviously means the Paranoid Bitch WON, didn’t it! Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

No, it’s just that I’ve been caught up with about thirty thousands annoying details on thirty thousand other annoying things in my life. But I’m here now.

I knew the cancellations would pour in as soon as I sent the reminder emails out to everyone that they had signed up for the blood drive on Sunday. And I did have four to five people email back to say they had to work, their car broke down, they’re sick, they have to work, la la laaaaaaa.

And then I expected more people to simply not show for their appointments, as we have a pretty laid back congregation, to whom skipping a service is no big deal, as opposed to me, who thinks I’m going to hell if I drift for two seconds during the sermon, or if my gaze happens to wander to look at one of the hotties when we’re all singing. (Seriously. My congregation has a lot of hotties. They never ask anyone out, either. Annoying.)

But I got there, solved the first crisis about how to get the Bloodmobile out of the red zone, set up my table and posters and BALLOONS! (I don’t remember the last time I blew up a balloon!) greeted Native Chick, who was hung over, but still made it out to help man the table (that is a true true friend, people), and held my breath as 9:00am rolled around.

And people showed. MAN did they show. I already had 2 people slotted every twenty minutes, but I had a bunch more people as walk ups. I had people who were just walking down the street in front of the church, saw the sign, and wanted to sign up. We had to start turning people away. Usually, my heart is broken by the usual things – rejected scripts, a sad eyed puppy, trusting a guy who says all the right things that night and then disappears the next day – but today, my heart was broken by people who I couldn’t get into the Bloodmobile. Some of them looked positively WRECKED. What do you mean, you don’t have room for me? I KNOW, people! I would shoehorn you in through the vents if I could, but the Bloodmobile could only accommodate so many people at a time. I had no idea how many people wanted to do this. I was operating in my This Blood Drive Is Oatmealy Good For Ya, and I’m Force Feeding It To My Church bubble because I had no feedback whatsoever. I got the feedback now, and the feedback is They Want The Oatmeal. They WANT The Oatmeal!

I had plenty of people ask me what inspired me to do this. Um, God told me to. There’s not a linear path to it. I’ve never needed blood. I don’t have a cool story where I got into a car wreck, or I chopped off my arm, and I had a femoral artery gushing through the wreckage until the Pints O’ Goodness showed up and saved my life. I started giving blood because I wanted to be mean to myself, whoops, I wanted to Challenge My Fears. And once I realized how ridiculously easy it was, there was no good reason to stop giving. And no good reason to not get other people to do it too. If You Provide The Blood Drive, They Will Bleed. Or something like that.

I don’t know why God told me to host a blood drive. I was overjoyed that He was talking to me in the first place. He could’ve said anything, Go dye your hair pink, go be a bank teller in Montana, go jump off a cliff. And I would’ve done it. Except the bank teller in Montana part.

We got 38 pints on Sunday. Four people got bounced because of their international travels. One gal got bounced because she didn’t weigh enough. Nobody got bounced because their iron content was low, but that was probably because I didn’t give. That’s right, I couldn’t give at my own damn blood drive. There wasn’t any room. That’s AWESOME.

The Bloodmobile staff was amazed at our 38 pints. They said you never get that kind of number for a first time drive. You’re lucky if you get 22 or so. BOO YAH WITH OUR 38 PINTS. The Red Cross takes those 38 pints and separates them into three parts each, so our 38 pints helped 114 people.

I don’t know why God told me to host a blood drive. But I don’t have to. We helped 114 people today, and we will never know who they are. But we don’t have to. You don’t have to know people to help them, and you don’t have to know why you’re doing what God tells you to do. You just do it. Or, I do, anyway. With a dash of paranoid ramblings, of course.

And since I have completed my task, maybe God will say something else, maybe there’s something else on his Holy To Do List, or maybe there’s another Fortune Cookie saying I’m gonna get on the ellipticals.

Or maybe nothing else comes. If I’m really anticipating for something to happen, it usually doesn’t. If I make like I’m not anticipating anything to happen, it STILL doesn’t happen, like God knows I’m peeking behind my closed fingers.

Regardless, I helped facilitate an opportunity for 38 people to help 114 people that none of us knew. And that’s enough.

For this week, anyway.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

AWESOME, AMES!!!! Think of it! Really, think of it. Don't think of that huge number (114!!!) think of one person....one husband, one wife, one mother or father, one child.....one family member your blood drive SAVED. Sure, maybe it seems like I'm being melodramatic....but it is absolutely lifesaving technoogy.....
And you brought the SANGRIA IN, GIRL!!!!!!

Absolutely God's blessing.....