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Back in July 2022, Tough Guy Book Club set a monthly challenge to give blood under the hashtag #newbloods.

Monthly challenges are a thing we do. As well as reading the book (technically we're still a book club) our goons are given homework - go plant a tree, get your eyes checked, have a meal with a fellow club member. Challenges are a good way to break your routine, get outside your comfort zone, and have some fun while you're at it.

But that's not all they're for. Plenty of our challenges do good in the community, like planting trees or helping a library. #Newbloods was the first time we put actual lives on the line. Australia needs over 1.7 million blood donations every year, which is about three every minute. What could a bunch of idiots sitting around talking about books in a pub do about that? How much could we possibly give?

 Turns out, um... a lot.

Maybe we were reading something especially dark or weird that month? All over the country men stepped up to offer blood sacrifice. Crimson liquid flowed steadily into the machine. Vampires descended on black wings while beyond a darkening sky, the TGBC gods laughed. Those with persistent health issues who couldn't donate whole blood donated plasma or platelets instead. There are probably cool plasma/platelet vampires too but we're not sure because not many books have been written about them.

The numbers are staggering. In that first month alone we saved 315 lives. Our TGBC Lifeblood team beat much bigger and more organised teams like the RAAF, NSW and WA Police. Goons who had been donating for years kept up their schedule, while others took the chance to donate for the first time and became regulars themselves. By the end of 2022 our total of lives saved was up to 756.

In 2023 blood donations became a permanent initiative alongside monthly challenges. Under the hashtag #roadto2000 we set out to save 2000 lives in a year. The TGBC Blood Baron rose from his dusty lair with eyes aglow, skeletal arms extended, bearing offerings of chocolate milk and sausage rolls. In the end we didn't just reach the total of 2000, we smashed it by hundreds.

And yet, the Baron's bloodlust persists. His thirst will not be quenched.

This year we're setting out to save 3000 lives on the #roadto3000. It's a scary figure requiring 84 donations every month, but we have more help this time. As much as we love the Australian Red Cross and Lifeblood, they're no help to our international goons in New Zealand, the US, UK and Canada. So we've signed up to the American Red Cross Sleeves Up app, the Canadian Blood Services program, and others. Now we have goons reading and bleeding all over the world.

The way monthly challenges work is that if you complete them all in a year, you get a special shiny TGBC Challenge Coin. Those who sign up to the Lifeblood team get a special commemorative Blood Baron one. But that's not why we donate.

 We donate because we read, and reading makes you think about stuff, thinking about stuff makes you care about stuff, which means you can do something about it. Donating blood is heroic as fuck. This whole vampire metaphor has been fun but we're actually more like Mina Harker or Abraham Van Helsing. Those who donate are the real heroes of this story because they're stepping up to make a difference and save lives.

And you know the funniest part? We've never even read Dracula.

If you want to help us on the #RoadTo3000 you can join our LifeBlood Team at this Link

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