For decades, the Red Cross has been encouraging people to give blood, especially during times of hardship. When Jerry Ball was in his teens, he heard that call and he’s been giving ever since. Jerry has donated blood over 200 times -- 268 times, to be exact.
“You can donate whole blood every 56 days, so I just sign up every 56 days,” Jerry says.
When Jerry was growing up, it was the 1970s. There was a war going on. The need was there. That’s why he started his commitment to donating.
“We were at Mass one day, walking out with my parents, and during Mass they had mentioned there was a blood drive at the church that day,” Jerry says. “They talked about all the people -- with accidents, cancers, blood disorders -- that needed blood. So, I figured, well, that’s something I could do.”
Jerry was honored by the Red Cross a few years ago, he’s one of their “real heroes” and received an award for his donations.
“You know, I looked around the room -- with almost 1,000 people -- and that's about how many people my blood might have helped over the years,” he says.
Why Jerry thinks you should give, too
In short, Jerry says it’s not a big deal.
“You don’t feel anything different. You don’t feel light-headed or dizzy or anything,” he says. “You feel exactly the same as when you sat down except that now you’ve got a little Band-Aid on your arm.”
Trying it once, Jerry says, is all it takes.
“If we had a whole lot more one-time donors, that would be great. But once you’ve done it, just realize that you’re helping somebody … wherever they need it, they send the blood.”
And with today’s technology, you can even sign up for text alerts telling you where your blood was sent to be used.