Got Blood? Need Coffee? Check This Out.

j0438809It was scary at the RI Blood Center on Promenade Street last night.  Not because of the needles, or the fact that Valentine’s Day decorations were already up, but because I was the only donor at the time.  I’ve only been there eight times (I’m not keeping track, they are. I got my “first gallon” mug last night, yay). But I’ve never seen it that quiet.  Ever.

Turns out donations plummet in winter (despite the fact that blood’s needed all year round).  Why not summer, when people are on vacation, I asked?  Well, people with colds and flus shouldn’t donate, and people typically have them in the winter.  But come on, people — you can’t be sick all winter long.  Get off your duff and pop in; don’t let a colossal wimp like me brave the little fingerpricky thing alone.  The whole appointment takes 30 to 40 minutes, and most of that is deciding whether you want Fig Newtons or Oreos. Be quick like bunnies and donate this month to get a coupon for a free pound of coffee from Dunkin’ Donuts.   A pound for a pint, eh?

Search here by town, zip code and/or date to find a drive that works for you.

8 thoughts on “Got Blood? Need Coffee? Check This Out.”

  1. I work for the Rhode Island Blood Center, and am responsible for publication of our five-time-a-year newsletter, e-newsletter, a quarterly television program, press releases, and annual report, among other things. I am always looking to talk to people who have stories that help motivate people to donate. There, of course, is always a need for blood. If there are individuals who have stories to share, like Eric, Larry and Annie. What all of you have said is absolutely accurate. There is no substitute for human blood, and 70 to 90 percent of us will either use it ourselves during our lifetime, or someone close to us will.
    If you have a story to share, please email me at

    thank you

  2. Here’s another reader who values the whole process WAY more than most. I gave like clockwork for years (worked for a community-oriented Gillette), never thinking I’d need it myself. Then two needs rose:
    1) Just after delivering our second child, my wife had complications and needed LOTS of blood.
    2) Years later, I suffered an aortic aneurysm (like John Ritter’s), had major surgery needing LOTS of blood, and now undergo periodic vascular procedures needing lots more.
    After the major surgery they made me wait a long time before giving again, and I know that due to my meds they limit the use of my donations to research, I think of donation programs as community gold. Take potshots, Hugh, but hope you don’t end up in a life-or-death.

    … and after reading this blog consistently the LAST thing I’d call the author is pretentious!

  3. Giving blood is not pretentious! You sure wouldn’t think so if you needed it. Unless you’re a Jehovah’s witness- in which case who cares what you think?

  4. Enormous props to the gallon gal. Blood is always needed. With all of the technological advances in the medical field one thing that they cannot make is a substitute for human blood. Only we can make it. Please give and do it every two months. I have been giving since I was eighteen but never thought I’d need it so much as I do now. My three week old son has been receiving transfusions since he was born and my resolve to help support the blood bank has been strengthened like never before. Hugh can call me pretentious too but I hope he never has to worry about getting a pint of the red stuff.

  5. Annie Messier

    This is awesome: my first time being called pretentious. Is there a mug for that, too?

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