Dear Prospective Firefighter,

If you're one of the many who talks-the-talk about "being brave" and "giving back to the community", I'm going to ask you, rather pointedly, how you've done so in your daily life. Know that I'm going to be relentless, and I'm not going to allow you to dodge the question.

Please let me offer you a great way to demonstrate your commitment:

Give Life!

That's right, your willingness to donate blood tells me a great deal about your commitment to the wellness of the community. Talk all you want, the proof that you have donated blood (or are actively involved in other meaningful community affairs) tells me more about you than 20 minutes of canned answers in an oral board.

Better yet, it tells *you* a great deal more about who you really are.

There's a link at the bottom of this message where you can not only learn more, but can get involved today. What I'm asking of you can take place this very week in your own neighborhood.

Still, many people (including prospective Firefighters) come up with a million excuses of why they can't donate blood.

Here are the Top Ten excuses given to our friends at the American Red Cross:

====

1. I don't like needles / I am scared of needles / I am afraid to give blood.

Nearly everyone feels that way at first. However, most donors will tell you that you feel only a slight initial pinch, and 7-10 minutes later, you are finished and headed for the canteen. If you take the time (and courage) to make one donation, you'll wonder why you ever hesitated.

2. I am too busy

The entire process takes about an hour, and the actual blood donation time is only 7-10 minutes. If you stop to think that an hour of your time could mean a lifetime for a premature baby, someone with cancer undergoing chemotherapy, or someone who's had an accident, you might decide that you can make the time to give the gift of life.

3. No-one ever asked meÖ I didn't realize my blood was needed

Consider yourself asked! There is simply no other way to supply the blood needs of hospital patients but for the generous donations of people like you. Every two seconds someone in America needs blood. More than 38,000 donations are needed every day in communities across the U.S.

4. I already gave this year

You can give every 56 days. Many donors give 5 times a year!

5. I am afraid I'll get AIDS

It is not possible to get AIDS by donating blood to the American Red Cross. A new sterile needle is used for each donor and discarded afterwards.

6. My blood isn't the right type

Every type of blood is needed daily to meet patient needs. If you have a common blood type, there are many patients who need it, so it is in high demand. If you have a less common blood type, there are fewer donors available to give it, so it is in short supply.

7. I don't have any blood to spare

The average adult body has 10-12 pints of blood. Doctors say that healthy adults may give regularly because the body quickly replaces the blood you donate.

8. I don't want to feel weak afterward

Donating blood should not affect adversely a healthy adult because your body has plenty of blood. You will donate less than one pint, and your body, which constantly makes new blood, will replace the donated volume within 24 hours. Most people continue their usual activities after donating.

9. They won't want my blood (I am too old / I've had an illness)

If you have doubts, check with your physician. The qualified staff on duty at a blood drive or donor center will also review your medical history with you. There is no upper age limit to donate blood with the American Red Cross, and a great many medical conditions do not prevent you from donating blood, or may have done so only temporarily in the past.

10. I have a rare blood type, so I'll wait until there is a special need

Blood that is rare or special is almost always in short supply. There is a constant need for these blood types in order to avoid having to recruit specific blood types in a crisis.

====

If you are reading this sentence, you've got blood. You've now got a chance to be a hero. Either click on the link below and choose to participate:

http://www.givelife.org

...or plan on learning some new canned answers for your next interview.

Respectfully Yours,

Brian