Driven by Gratitude to Give

By Jon Darius, Red Cross Public Affairs Volunteer

 “Gratitude” was the feeling that drove Martin Gonzales to donate blood last summer. After a life-threatening experience that led him to receiving a blood transfusion, Gonzales feels that the main inspiration for donating blood is to give back to those that may have been in the same situation or to people that are in dire need of a blood donation.

“My life has been saved by blood donors. I’ve seen the importance firsthand. That’s why I try to donate regularly. After this, I’m going to get involved more with the Red Cross. I want to do something hands-on to help.”

Martin Gonzales

Gonzales also encouraged current donors to “keep doing it!” For those that may be skeptical of the idea of donating, he assures that “everything is sterile and safe”. Safety is a priority for everyone including the Red Cross. Each blood drive and donation center follow the highest standards of safety and infection control and has added precautions including temperature checks, social distancing and face coverings for donors and staff.

Gonzales also shared, “If Latinos knew that their blood type is valuable, they would be more likely to donate.” A patient is more likely to find a compatible blood match from a donor of the same race or a similar ethnicity. Gonzales hopes he can inspire those from Hispanic communities to donate their blood to help the lives of many.

Given his position, Gonzales shared, “everybody benefits from donating blood.”

His personal decision to donate blood and his aspirations to volunteer for the Red Cross center around the concept of gratitude – gratitude for those that donated blood to help save his life. He is hopeful his donations can go on to do the same.

Patients – and their families rallying behind them – are counting on the generosity of blood donors to share their health this winter. If a donor is eligible and feeling well, they can make an appointment today by visiting RedCrossBlood.org, using the Red Cross Blood Donor App or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).   You can become a volutneer at redcross.org/volunteertoday.

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