This Wednesday, June 6, more than one hundred heroes will gather on the 9th Floor of the Terence Cardinal Cooke Catholic Center in Manhattan.
They are an ordinary looking group of people, and might not seem special at first glance. If you passed them on the street, you wouldn’t know that these folks have literally helped to save the lives of others – people they will never meet. They are not The Avengers, Men in Black, or even Seal Team 6.
So who are these everyday heroes?
They’re folks just like you and me, employees of the Catholic Center and people from neighboring parishes, who will be taking about 45 minutes out of their day to donate a pint of blood at our blood drive.
It’s particularly important to give blood during the Summer, a time of the year when giving typically slows. About 25% of the regular blood supply comes from high school and college drives, which are mainly on hiatus now until the fall. Plus, we’re all busy people and looking forward to getting away for some well-deserved rest and relaxation on our vacations, and often something as simple as giving blood is “put off” for a later date.
Perhaps you’ve hesitated about giving blood, since you’re not sure what you have to do. It really is an easy process. You register (photo i.d. required), give a brief medical history – you can also find out your blood pressure! – donate a pint of blood, and then (my favorite part) some snacks. That’s all there is to it! Yes, there is a needle involved, and that can be a stumbling block for some people. But in my experience the men and women who are working at a blood drive are so skilled that I turn my head away for a second and the needle is in – and I barely feel a thing!
We all know someone who has needed a blood transfusion as a result of surgery, cancer treatment, or an accident. It sure has happened in my family, and I’ve been very quietly grateful to those people who took the time to give. I’m proud to say that well over 100,000 pints of blood have been donated in the parishes of the Archdiocese of New York during this millennium. That’s part of the Culture of Life. But the need goes on.
So if there is a blood drive going on in your parish, at work, or in your neighborhood, won’t you please consider stopping in and giving?
You’ll be a hero if you do. But feel free to leave the Spiderman costume at home.