• Be a great Valentine–Give blood

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    TODAY is Valentine’s Day. We feel that, in keeping with Pope Francis’ call for this year to be a Year of Mercy and Compassion, it is right and just for us to endorse in this space the call of the Philippine Red Cross for blood donations.

    The Secretary-General of that wonderful humanitarian organization, Gwendolyn Pang, has written a lovely appeal. We use it as our editorial today:

    The gift of blood this Valentine’s
    Love is the greatest gift of all, so the song goes.

    And the best thing about it is that there are many ways to show love to our fellowmen, so many different avenues of expression, and giving love not only benefits the recipient but also its giver.

    At the Philippine Red Cross (PRC), we celebrate love and Valentine’s day by giving blood, and saving lives. In fact, before the PRC became the country’s premier humanitarian organization in recent years, we were an organization that was known primarily due to our blood services program.

    Today, the PRC has become an organization that is capable of responding to huge multiple disasters simultaneously, but we still take the mission of delivering lifesaving blood to those who need it very seriously.

    And so in this day of hearts, we once again ask everyone, why not give a lot of love by giving a little blood?

    Over the years, we have partnered with various organizations for mass blood donations, and we will continue to do so in the future. Personally, I find that once organizations are exposed to this activity, it only adds to their resolution to do more of these events. It eventually becomes a part of their CSR programs, probably reflecting their enhanced awareness of its importance.

    On the other hand, the benefits to the people who need this blood in order to survive is nothing short of miraculous. It can literally be the difference between life and death. And so we strive to fulfill our duty by enlisting everyone, including media organizations, to spread the word.

    All the chapters of the PRC scattered all over the country are open for mass blood donations, most especially on Valentine’s day. Here, at the National Headquarters, we will also be partnering with the academe, specifically with the UP College of Law, at the Malcolm Hall Lobby, all day of February 16, 2016, as part of our efforts.

    Using the hashtag, #Typekita, which playfully refers to the celebration of Valentine’s day, we will be partnering with various organizations, together with our chapters where the Red Cross has a presence in the country, so that there will be a continuous blood supply in our 25 blood centers and 56 blood collecting units/stations nationwide to fill any gap in supply.

    For those who decide to be part of the mass blood donations of the Red Cross, know that you will be saving a human life. Literally. And for doing so, you not only have the privilege of giving the gift of life to another human being, but you will also benefit from it.

    You see, before you can even give blood, the PRC will give you a free medical check up and physical exam. Not only that, a study published from the American Journal of Epidemiology found that blood donors are 88% less likely to suffer a heart attack.

    Elevated iron levels can cause hardening of the arteries leading to heart attacks. Donating blood can lower the iron levels, thus reduce the risk of suffering heart attacks.

    And so, with all the attendant benefits to giving blood, now you know for sure that there is literally no better way of celebrating the day of hearts by giving love on Valentine’s day. — By Gwendolyn Pang, Secretary General, Philippine Red Cross

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