06 October, 2011

Free Pass

After my recent trip to the hospital there were lots of things that were brought to my attention. I have heard much of the failing health system and yet my treatment was prompt, effective and friendly. I did however watch a news story about hospitals running out of vital drugs and medication…while sitting in the patient treatment area. I also learnt a bit about ambos and how wonderful they are but how difficult and demanding their job is and, unfortunately, how little they get paid to do it. I won’t get started on the health system rant because I’m sure there is too much ground to cover here.

But another thing that has been brought to my attention is blood donation, or lack thereof. Unfortunately due to my regularity of getting tattooed I am unable to donate blood – not to mention I’m a bit of a sook. But there are plenty of people out there in dire need of blood to make them better or even save their lives and who knows, one day it might even be you. I recently found out about a fantastic social media campaign aiming to raise awareness and encourage blood donation in the best way possible.

Free Pass is a light-hearted approach to a serious issue. According to the Australian Red Cross Blood Service, 1 in 3 Australians will need blood, but only 1 in 30 will ever donate and few people realise how frequently it's possible to donate - every 12 weeks.

The concept of Free Pass evolved as a result of numerous amounts of research which suggests that perceived inconvenience is a significant barrier to blood donation. People want to donate blood but often don't feel they are able to take time away from other priorities (work, children, household, study, etc.) to justify taking the time to visit a mobile donation centre or Red Cross location.

Free Pass thought, why not make blood donation the reward? Their Facebook Page gives potential donors a ‘Free Pass’ to download, which gives them 'permission' to take the hour or so that it takes to donate blood out of their day, to do something they've been wanting to do (donate blood) but may feel like they can't do.

'Guilt' campaigns are relatively prolific in the social marketing sector, so they decided to approach the target audience as adults and say "yes, life is busy, we know you want to make a difference but it's hard to find the time. We're here to help, and we'll even give you the Free Pass to do it."

Using the channels of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to deliver their fun and informative messages to help encourage friends, followers and viewers to donate blood, they have built an international following.
Stay in touch with them to hear about mobile blood donation locations, relevant news, information about blood donation, and share how you used the Free Pass to make a difference, and did something special.

Booking an appointment with the Australian Red Cross Blood Service is one of the easiest ways to donate blood in Australia. Visit their website for more information.

We always talk about how we want to change the world and while that is an extremely noble idea, it’s a big task to take on. Start small, start local but start change. You could save a life. Or someone may save yours.

3 comments (+add yours?)

Tony said...

Hey Sheri, I am a blood donor, but am unable to donate for a while due to past surgery and impending surgery, But the other great thing is, the people in those vans are so nice:) And they have a great selection of snacks for before and after!
I just wanted to add a bit about the Ambos, cause my last comment is floating in cyberspace.
Ambulance Officers Job is to help you and give you first aid, it is not their job to be kind to you, make you feel special, comfort you, make you feel like at that time you are the most important person in the world.
Thats what those who I have experienced have done, and sounds like the same for you Sheri. They are truly underpaid and mistreated Angels (can you have male angels... You know what I mean) :)

Sheri Bomb said...

Couldn't agree more Tony! And I figured if I can't help out physically and donate I'm certainly more than happy to promote good karma by sharing the importance of this cause :)

StrippedBareAU said...

It's no secret to those close to me know that I have a blood disorder called neutropenia. It's a problem with my white blood cells. Theyre too low, they will always be. When they get too low I need a Blood transfusion. In the last 3years I have needed this twice. It's saved my life. Some ones blood donation gives me the chance to live my life normally.

Just over a year ago my BIL dad was nearly killed when he was hit by a care riding his bike. He needed a lot blood that night it saved his life.

Over 9 years ago when my eldest sister was 17 and I was 10. She was nearly killed in a car accident and suffered horrific injuries including spinal and organ damage. Over an intense 3 months of sugeries putting her young body together she had several transfusions all of them saved her life.

Great post Sheri, blood donation save lives every day. you never know when you or some one close to you will need one. If you can, please donate.

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