August 2022 saw one of our coolest challenges yet, with goons being encouraged to give blood as part of the TGBC Lifeblood donor team. Restrictions preventing former residents of the United Kingdom from donating had recently been lifted, so #NewBloods was perfectly timed to get more brothers involved in this lifesaving program.
Of course, there are plenty of valid reasons some of us cannot donate blood; however, goons of this ilk were still able to be involved. This may have meant providing transport or moral support for a donor, volunteering (those snacks don’t just prepare themselves!) or sharing their story to illustrate why donating is so important.
This goon was a semi-regular donor when #NewBloods rolled up and its arrival added extra motivation to schedule that appointment and keep it. Suddenly I wasn’t just one man sitting in the chair; I was part of a team and could easily imagine goons across Australia - indeed, the world - with me in spirit and in purpose. And let me tell you folks, that was a very cool moment. Moreover, when I told Lifeblood staff about the challenge it was lauded all round and became the impetus for a conversation about TGBC and what we are all about. Suffice to say we are aces in their books.
And that is as it should be. Here’s what Red Cross had to say at the end of the month: “Just wanted to send you a massive thank you for all your support last month! Your Lifeblood team made 105 donations across Australia in August 2022 – of these 38 were new donors. Twenty-eight donations at Melbourne Donor Centre – of these 15 were new donors. Your lifeblood team ranked number 2 for highest new donors at Melbourne Donor Centre last month! And, Tough Guy Book Club is ranked number 3 highest new donors for August across the whole of Australia!”
To put all that in its proper perspective, 105 donations equates to 315 lives saved! If ever the satisfaction was in the giving, surely this was it. And we’re not done giving yet.
This year, our goal is to save 2000 lives. With the TGBC Lifeblood donor team numbering 172 goons, we’ve been able to chalk up 157 donations and save 471 lives in the first quarter alone. That's some impressive early momentum, to be certain. Let’s keep it going and make that ambitious goal our reality, blood brothers!
Looking on at my shoulder as I give this piece a final proofread is the plasmapheresis machine. I can't help but smile as it beeps its approval. One hundred and fifty-eight donations…