This is my first year participating in the Community Fund Drive, and I decided to give the American Red Cross. The Red Cross provides aid during national and international emergencies, helps victims of war and natural disasters, supports education programs like CPR and first aid classes, and supplies nearly half the nation's blood and blood products.
When I was in college, I didn't do much charitable giving, but I regularly gave whole blood through the Red Cross. They say that one blood donation can affect up to three people, and that sort of impact really appealed to me. I was afraid of needles, but I would often go with a friend (read: drag them along saying "Please hold my hand!"), and inform the friendly phlebotomists that I was nervous. They are always great. I still give blood when I can because of the human impact it has and frankly, because I expect blood transfusions to be there for my friends and family if they ever need it. I'm glad I now get the opportunity to support the Red Cross's other activities, as well. I feel really connected to this organization and appreciate the chance to share it with you.