How to: Donate Blood
Do you know the saying that when you’re young, you have lots of time to do cool stuff, but no money to realize it, whereas when you’re older, you have the money but not the time? And at one point in your life, you might have the money and the time, but not the health… In case ‘cool stuff’ also includes helping others for you, I have a pretty cool solution for this: donating blood! It doesn’t cost you anything except for some time, and of this, we students probably all have enough. We should also all be rather healthy, if you don’t know, whether you are or not, here’s another advantage of donating blood: it is a health check for free!
I hope you’re convinced of the idea of giving blood now and only have to translate it into action, then here is how it works: In the Netherlands, there is a big organisation responsible for all blood donations, which is called Sanquin. On sanquin.nl you can find some more information on this, and you can also register as donor. However, here’s a little problem: the registration and donor tests only exist in dutch. With google translate and a bit more time, I’m sure you can manage that though! After registration, you will then be invited for a check-up. This will be done at UMCG, takes about 30 – 60 minutes and basically consists of you filling in another donor test (this time available in English) and a short physical exam by a doctor (like weight, blood pressure and pulse). They will then take a little bit of blood from you and check it in the lab for some infectious diseases – health check for free, as I said. And if you are healthy and applicable for donation, at one point they’ll send you an invitation card, asking you to come over in the next 2 weeks to give some blood. Don’t worry, before that they’ll check your health again, and after you’ll even get some cookies and something to drink.
And if you don’t want to donate blood, can’t stand needles or see blood, or if you can’t get enough of helping others, you can also donate something else: your hair! At least if you’re lucky and have long and quick growing hair. The foundation Haarwensen (haarwensen.nl) collects hair donations to make wigs for children with diseases or other conditions causing hair loss. Usually, those wigs made out of real hair are very expensive, haarwensen however provides them for free for those kids. On their website, you can find hair dressers that cooperate with haarwensen, which means that they know what to do when you get there and tell them you want to donate your hair, and some of them even offer discount on the hair cut then. I got my hair cut at Huisman Coiffures, and they did a really good job! Unfortunately, to make proper wigs out of the donated hair, the hair has to be at least 30cm long and it has to be in its natural colour. Therefore, you might have to wait for some time before you can actually donate your hair.
If your hair is already long enough however, go get it cut and make a child very happy with it (and yourself, as summertime is coming and long hair is just soo warm!)