To Give or Not To Give: A 4-Year Journey

I regularly check the Popular Content section on the sidebar of this blog to see what readers are enjoying the most. This valuable information helps me plan future topics or encourages me to tackle previous topics from another angle or with updates. One post that always shows up is To Give or Not To Give…, a look at my first platelets donation experience, so I wanted to share more about my experience since this post.

Donating platelets at the American Red Cross

A lot has happened since my previous post four years ago. I’ve become a regular platelets donor, averaging 12 donations a year, and notching 18 visits in 2015. I’ve accepted the fact that I freeze during my donations, wrapping up in blankets and utilizing a large heating pad (and hot pack to squeeze). I do seem to set off the monitor a little less frequently now, so my mummifying attempts seem to be working. ūüôā

As noted above, I try to make it to my local DC (donation center) monthly, which is a little easier to do with a couple of Red Cross updates. The Blood Donor app is so convenient! It allows you to schedule platelets donations online, review your donation history, manage appointments and track your donations, among other tasks. Rapid Pass is a time-saver, as it allows you to answer the interview questions in advance on the day of your appointment. It’s not available via mobile, but it is a nice way to cut down on the time you spend at the facility. [2018 UPDATE: Rapid Pass is now available via mobile!]

Changes have been made to the actual donation process too. In the past year, the Red Cross has gone back to a two-needle donation process:¬†blood is drawn from one arm and returned in your other arm after having your platelets (and possibly plasma) removed. Unfortunately my body didn’t take to the two-arm process at all, so my DC accepts my donations via a one-arm donation.

After taking a few months off, I’m starting¬†to donate monthly again. I realize others donate more, up to the¬†maximum of 24 times per year, but that seems to be too much for my body to handle. Last fall, I started to have issues during donations, so the Red Cross stopped taking plasma during my platelets donations, which has helped immensely.

I’m continuing to monitor how my body handles donations going forward but am looking forward to making regular monthly donations again. The Blood Donor app, Rapid Pass and returning to a one-arm donation process have helped me continue to help others in need. Curious?¬†Visit http://www.redcrossblood.org/platelets to learn more about the¬†platelets donation process.

Your Feedback Requested

Do you donate blood, platelets, plasma or a platelets/plasma combination?

Do you react to the anticoagulant by sneezing frequently? (I just made it through my first donation without needing TUMS!)

What do you think of the two-arm collection process vs. the one-arm?

Have you experienced any side effects from donating?

To all fellow donors, thank you!

Jaime

Let’s chat (about platelets donations, paying it forward or otherwise):
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9 Ways You Can Help Those In Need #allin1day

I give because I can.

Did you know?

  • Every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood.*
  • The Red Cross has won three Nobel Peace Prizes, in 1917, 1944 and 1963.^
  • In 2013, the international Red Cross movement provided food aid for more than 6.7 million people and essential household and hygiene items for over 3.4 million people.`
  • The ICRC’s (International Committee of the Red Cross) water, sanitation and construction projects benefitted some 28.7 million people in 2013.`

Please join us in going #allin1day to help the Red Cross deliver essential aid to those in need.

How can you help?

I gave whole blood for six years before learning that I was an ideal platelets donor, which I moved to three years ago. I don’t give in memory or honor of a specific person, although it is amazing when you meet people who have needed platelets — cancer patients, car accident survivors or organ transplant recipients, to name a few.

Go all in with us on June 2, 2015.

CCC is in. Are you?

I give because I can, and I hope that if I ever need platelets, someone will give for me.

p.s. Did you know the Red Cross has several apps, including one for blood and platelets donations?

Statistics sources: *American Red Cross  ^International Business Times  `ICRC Annual Report

Pay It Forward,
Jaime

Let’s chat (on the Red Cross, Paying It Forward or otherwise):
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Auld Lang Syne & Happy New Year!

The time has come to say goodbye to 2014.

Happy New Year from CCC!

Before we watch the ball drop to kick off 2015, let’s take a quick look back at the year that was. My¬†helper monkeys, Mojo and Penelope, have prepared an end-of-year¬†report for the CCC blog. Thanks to you, what a year it’s been!

Consider this:

 A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 4,500 times in 2014. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

We shared 69 new posts this past year, usually sticking to our Tuesday and Thursday schedule. You came early and often, culminating on November 20th (Mexican Revolution Day?!), our most popular day with 54 views.

What posts tickled your fancy the most?

  1. Promotional Products as Effective Marketing Tools
  2. 50 Things I’m Grateful For… Summer 2014 Edition
  3. A Simple Step-by-Step Guide to Search Engine Optimization
  4. Kindness in the Workplace: A Guide for Your Organization
  5. To Give or Not To Give…

Along the way, we hit two notable milestones: 200 followers and 500 likes. Thank you!

CCC hits 200 likes! 11.25.14CCC hits 500 likes! 11.21.14

Loyal readers, you came from near and far. The United States, India and Brazil were our most represented countries, and we had visitors from 91 countries around the world. Some of you found us through Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest, our top referrers.

“Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened. ¬†-Dr. Seuss

OK, now you can sing “Auld Lang Syne.”

Cheers to peace and prosperity in 2015!

The CCC crew,
Jaime, Mojo and Penelope

Welcoming old friends and new, connect with us!
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Things I Learned About My Bad Self, 2013 Edition

I was scrolling through my WordPress reader when I came across a post by Campari & Sofa that made me think. It was entitled Things I learned about my campari self this year and noted 10 things the author had learned, from philosophic to practical. I commented that I enjoyed her list and was thinking about borrowing the idea, which she encouraged. Love fellow bloggers!

So here we go…¬†Things I learned about myself in 2013:

  1. A good massage and candlelit bubble bath can (almost) make my world right again.
  2. Things will work out for the best (even when they seem the worst).
  3. Super heroes do exist, and we can all be one — somehow, someway. (Need a reminder? Watch¬†Batkid Save San Francisco)
  4. A breath of fresh air (literally and figuratively) can be all I need.
  5. Everything I’ve done up to this point contributes to my success. Nothing has been done in vain.
  6. I have the pleasure of working with some of the coolest, most genuine people on the planet.
  7. I still want to be Rico Tubbs and MacGyver when I grow up.

What about you? What have you learned about yourself — personally or professionally — this year? Please share below or drop me a line on a social network. Let’s close out 2013 in style!

p.s. I love the number 7, so I wanted to stop there. Other things I’ve learned? I really, really want a dog, and I intimidate some people. (Funny due to my slight stature.)

Always learning, usually smiling,
Jaime

Want to learn more? Connect with CCC!
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On Thanksgiving, I’m Thankful for #GivingTuesday

I’ve posted before about many things I’m thankful for, from trail running¬†to espresso. (Yes, they go together.) On this Thanksgiving Day, I want to mention one more — #GivingTuesday.

Related Reading: 50 Things I’m Grateful For ¬†| ¬†50 (More) Things I’m Grateful For

GivingTuesday is a movement to start a national day of giving to kick off the generous Holiday season. It’s celebrated on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, following popular shopping days Black Friday and Cyber Monday. After you score some crazy deals this year, why not give back?

#GivingTuesday is December 3, 2013

When I heard about this awesome movement last year, I decided to become a social media ambassador to help spread the word. It was a wonderful feeling to be a (very small) part of such an amazing cause. In its debut, GivingTuesday prompted more than 10 million in online donations, a 53% increase over the Tuesday after Thanksgiving of the previous year. More than 50 million people helped spread the word about this new movement, and over 2,500 recognized partners in all 50 states came together to make it happen.

In 2013, GivingTuesday has grown even more, with over 7,800 partners at the time of this publication. Companies, brands and individuals are all coming forward, asking what they can do to make a difference.

The Chucks (and I) at the Red Cross

My #UNselfie — the Chucks and I donating platelets and plasma at the Red Cross.

What can you do?

–> Post an #UNselfie! Selfie may be the word of the year in 2013, but you can stand out by posting a picture of yourself doing good. The point? Let others know why you’re giving or show us your giving in action. Upload your picture of giving to Twitter, Facebook or Instagram and tag it #UNselfie and #GivingTuesday to be part of the movement.

–> Spread the word! Head to GivingTuesday.org to get involved and let others know that you’re on board for this growing movement. Share exciting news and tips with your social networks, talk to your family and friends and let your favorite companies and brands know how easy it is to get involved. GivingTuesday partners will enjoy giving back while also reaping the benefits of positive public relations and corporate goodwill.

–> Give! Your time, money, expertise and efforts all add up to a big win. Donate to your favorite charity in honor of GivingTuesday. Help out at the local food pantry or make an appointment to donate blood or platelets at the Red Cross. It’s amazing what happens when we all do our part. Make sure to let others know what you’re doing! We want to capture the world’s attention on this special day, so tag your posts with #GivingTuesday to be part of the worldwide conversation.

“We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.” ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†¬†–Sir Winston Churchill

Now enjoy Thanksgiving with your family and friends while remembering what you’re thankful for. I’m thankful that so many will join us on Tuesday, December 3rd to give back — an effort that unites us all.

Join Us

How will you be joining the GivingTuesday movement?

What’s your #UNselfie look like?¬†Feel free to link to your #UNselfie or #GivingTuesday efforts so we can check them out!

What’s your favorite Thanksgiving day food? ūüôā

GivingTuesday banner and statistics courtesy of GivingTuesday.org

Feeling thankful,
Jaime

Connect with CCC on #GivingTuesday and beyond…¬†
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