With the rash of disasters lately- both man-made and natural -- I have become quite empathetic to the cause of working towards relieving the pain and suffering of my fellow citizens. Here are some ideas, no matter where you live, that show compassion and support during these troubling times
What is the number one simplest, cheapest, and less time consuming way to help others in a disaster situation? Give Blood. Your donation of one pint of blood can help three separate individuals in need.
This is not a new activity for me. I have given blood once or twice a year for over 20 years. What is different now is that in the past, I gave in connection with blood drives at my church. Always the same old routine: sign up on a sign up sheet, show up on the assigned day and time, give blood, eat snacks, go home. But today, I gave my 0+ universal blood type blood because the local blood bank called me personally and told me they needed my blood NOW for the disasters. Because there was no prearranged blood drive, I had to go to the blood bank to donate. I've driven past the blood bank on numerous occasions but never went inside before. Let me tell you: it was a great experience; way better than blood mobiles or make shift donor centers in a church recreation hall.
For one thing, everything was state-of-art and computerized. All I had to do was click a mouse to answer the mandatory questions. The pre-testing to make sure I didn't have a temperature, that my blood pressure was normal, and that I had enough iron in my blood, were done in the privacy of a curtain-drawn room. But the best part was the actual blood donation area. All I have ever done before was lie down on hard, portable bed/tables. Not today. I got to sit in a reclining chair!!! Very comfortable. It made all the poking and prodding totally worth it. After just a few minutes, my donation was completed and I was ushered to the galley for the mandatory 15 minute eat, drink, and refresh yourself time before I left to resume the rest of my day. This part of the donating is definitely a highlight for me because you are free to eat and drink all the sugary, carbohydrate snacks you want, all so that your system can begin replenishing the blood that was lost. Final analysis: best time giving blood ever. Especially since it was a spontaneous donation for a critical situation.
Support your community's efforts. Especially if you don't live anywhere near the disaster. Cities have channels already in place to assist other cities; churches have connections with other congregations; service groups have chapters all around the country. The organizations you are already familiar with and trust can put you in touch with opportunities to give.
There is no need to stand by and observe the suffering that follows disasters. By tapping in to familiar channels, utilizing technology, and giving blood, you can quickly and confidently serve your fellow man. With the rate of all these disasters lately, who knows...your area might be needing assistance next. It is always so much easier to receive help if you are in the habit of giving help first.
How have you supported others after a disaster?