I donated platelets today. I had donated in the past, but haven't been for quite a while, about three years. I used to go to the Red Cross blood collection center in Westwood, on the grounds of the VA. However, when I called, they said they closed down their aspheresis center and the next nearest one was Torrance. So I did a search and found UCLA's Blood and Platelet center. Donating platelets is easy, it just takes time -- usually about 2 - 2 1/2 hours per donation (sometimes longer if you do a double.) The center is bright and sunny and the people are so friendly and fun to talk to. Plus, once you get loaded onto the reclining chair and prepped for your donation, you get to watch a movie, one that you pick out of their VAST library of dvds. (I always have to pick a movie I know is not going to make me cry...)
If you can find the time, this is a wonderful way to donate of yourself. And platelets are always in demand because unlike blood, they only last a few days. The silver lining is, your body replaces your donated platelets within 24-48 hours and so you can donate again every 3 days if you want to. I'm going back on the 27th.
Here is a pretty picture of platelets:
Platelets are the small things in the middle.
If you can't do platelets, donating blood is just as important.
I live in Los Angeles. In the summer of 2006 I worked in Mexico City. Instead of sending out giant emails full of photos to friends and families, I started this blog. The summer turned out to be a crazy one and this blog and my camera kept me sane. I didn't want to stop observing and writing when I got home to LA, so I kept the blog going.