(Reformatted from a post
I am donating blood Monday. Did you know the Red Cross estimates that only 5% of eligible donors give blood? They have their flaws as an organization (the no sodomy rule is a killer) but blood saves lives, and it's easy to give and you get a cookie when you're done.
In the USA, a man who has had sexual contact with a man since 1977 (the cut off date when we invented homosexuality, I think?) cannot donate blood, platelets, or plasma. ONLY the American Red Cross takes the step that bars women
who have had sexual contact with a man who did that, and only if it was in the last 12 months. If you are a woman in that category, you can use the AABB database
to find a non-ARC affiliated center to donate.
I know some of you are like me and don't have a ton of scratch to spare to help with the recovery from Sandy, so here are some links:
-Find a blood donation site (via AABB - includes Red Cross centers) here
-Find a Red Cross donation center here
-Find an American Blood Center here
-Know a lot of people with red, blood-pumping hearts? Talk to your job, your church, your social club or whatever about hosting a blood drive. Give blood, get cookies.
(Of course, not everyone CAN give blood - you might not be old enough or weigh enough or just be petrified of needles. That's okay. There are other ways to help!)Want to give money?
-FEMA has a list
of organizations by state that are taking both time and money from volunteers.
-20x200 is selling print of the "blue marble" that shows sandy here.
All profits go to the Red Cross.
-Don't like the Red Cross? Donate to the Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City here,
the Salvation Army here
(please mind that SA is a religious institution and you may or may not agree with their positions on homosexuality or trans* rights) or Global Giving here
, which is also providing relief for the Haiti and the Caribbean.
-Kroger is putting coin donation boxes
at its registers in some stores.
are accepting donations.
-Check with your bank/job before you donate, some are matching donations as well. I'm trying to find a list of those. The Red Cross also has a searchable database
of places that will match donations.Want to help Haiti or Cuba?
-The Huffington Post has some links for getting food to Cuba
-The International Rescue Committee
is active in Haiti, and have a list of ways to help.
-International Medical Corps
, Direct Relief
, and Operation USA
are working abroad, but I don't know these groups, so I neither support nor denounce them. See more in this vein at the Huffington Post
.How should you give?
-Be wary of the text-to-donate plans; many phone companies don't make the donation until AFTER you pay the bill it appears on - 90 days is a long time to wait.
-Remember to do research on charities before you donate. The ones I've heard are best are the Red Cross
, Doctors Without Borders
, and The Search Dog Foundation
. - Your mileage may vary.
-The FBI has suggestions to not be scammed here
-If you, like me, prefer fluffy puppies to most people, you can also give to WorldVets
, which is the Red Cross for animals.
I know no one likes to hear it, but in these cases, money is the most helpful thing
-I remember hearing about people who flew to Haiti or Japan to help, and had no transportation, didn't speak the language, and had no useful skills. Don't go to a disaster zone unless you are with an aid organization.
-Things like blankets and canned goods might make you feel good to donate, but think of the cost it takes for you to buy it and people to transport it. Aid groups can get these things for cheaper than you, and they can get them closer to the disaster zone, so it costs less to get there. Also, they know what's appropriate and what's needed.
-If you're in NY and have lost income, you can apply for compensation here
-NJ residents can look here
-If you're in NY and have HIV/AIDS or are on methodone, here
are some resources.
Please boost the signal! I'm leaving this unlocked so more people know about these things - or