Especially around this time of they year we think about the less fortunate and how we can help. There are several ways you can help out your fellow man in your direct area or even on a global scale. Like community service, donating money, giving your old clothes & shoes away. All of them for charity. Small gestures of goodwill can go along way but there are other ways to do it. Donating some of you own blood or even plasma is such an option.
For the last 2+ years I have given some of my life essence away. I started off with donating blood every 2 months (for females it's every 3 months) but then they asked me to donate plasma which you can do every 3 weeks if you want to. I go every 4-5 weeks myself. Besides the differences between blood and plasma, plasma donation being less of an impact then a blood donation on your body or I should say the recovery takes less time, it takes about 45 minutes for 650 milliliters of plasma to be separated from your blood by plasmapheresis. Blood donation takes about 25 minutes for 500 milliliters.
In some countries they might even pay you for a donation but that kinda defeats the purpose. In the EU this is no longer allowed. Mostly to weed out those that would not get through the tests anyways. Which brings me to another point. Every time you donate blood or plasma you will first be tested on several points like blood pressure, hemoglobin (Hb) and they will ask you to fill out a questionnaire about your health (history) and travel history to see if you are allowed to donate. When they start the donation (plasma or blood) they take two tubes to do tests on as well. All of these might be a bore to get through but in happens in a matter of minutes and the nurses make it fun and it's quite important as well. If at anytime they find something wrong with your blood you will be informed which is a positive thing I think. Look at it at a screening of your health on a monthly bases.
In The Netherlands Sanquin is the national Blood Supply Foundation, which handles all of the blood related transportation and it's also the place to donate. If you are interested in donating feel free to check out their website. For the non-Dutch readers try using this link for Sanquin but for more information on donating in your region use Google search or ask a doctor.