Medic Regional Blood Center needed to stock-up in anticipation of Independence Day. They offered extra premiums to blood donors on Monday and Tuesday. Everyone who gave blood those days got an unrestricted Regal Cinemas ticket. On Tuesday, they had bloodmobiles at three Bruster’s Real Ice Cream locations. In exchange for a pint of blood, my fellow donors and I also got a pint of ice cream. On top of that, we got a coupon for a free Chick-Fil-A sandwich and a t-shirt. The extra freebies meant a larger turnout and a longer than usual wait to donate.
We made the best of the long wait. I posted some updates to Twitter while the people around me used their smartphones to read e-books or check Facebook. The young lady in line before me asked if she could take my picture to show her sister. Instead, I asked another donor to take a picture of the two of us together, which I posted to my Facebook page so the girl’s sister could “like” it.
There were several first-time donors who wanted reassurance from those of us with experience. A woman named Amy and I gave some advice to the newbies near us. Another woman was anxious, not about the needle but about the long wait. She thought she could donate blood within her lunch hour, which is about the amount of time it normally takes. I suggested some true excuses she could use when returning to work. I told her to say she got stuck in a bus, that there was blood everywhere and that nurses had to assist her.