New York Cares Day 2013 Hattie Carthan Garden

Hattie Carthan Garden

Hattie Carthan Garden

On April 20th, 2013 I participated with my school in my first ever New York Cares Day. In case you are not already aware, New York Cares Day is New York City’s largest hands-on volunteer day, joining thousands of volunteers in the Fall to paint a brighter future for New York City public school students and in the Spring to clean up parks, community gardens, and public spaces throughout the city.

Fellow volunteer and I restoring benches

Fellow volunteer and I restoring benches

This year we traveled to Bedford-Stuyvesant to help clean up Hattie Carthan Garden. We were so warmly welcomed on our arrival, and it was evident that they were happy and grateful to have us. It was a very productive and rewarding day. Together we cleared garbage and weeds, cleaned up chicken coops, helped with composting, refurbished tables, restored a green house, painted benches, created pathways, and other urban agricultural work. It was such a great experience. Many of us strangers at first, but we all worked great together as a one team and left feeling reconnected with nature and with a sense of responsibility in taking care of it. At the end of the day, I could not help but feel extremely proud of what we all achieved that day. I am so glad that I took part in this event, and it is something that I plan on taking part in for years to come.

Fellow volunteers and I creating a pathway for the garden

Fellow volunteers and I creating a pathway for the garden

For more information on how you can make a difference and help serve New York City, please visit http://www.newyorkcares.org

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New York Blood Center Blood Drive 2013

I’ve been wanting to donate blood for a while now and I finally did! On Friday, March 22 the Physicians Assistants Program Class of 2014 hosted a blood drive at my school, Pace University for the New York Blood Center. They were hoping to reach 70 donations and were able to surpass this goal with over 100 donations!

The whole process took about 2 hours (what you have to do before donating is what takes the most time) and is extremely rewarding, well worth the time. To this day, I still feel great about what I did.

My badge and sticker from the donation

My badge and sticker from the donation

Before you can donate, you have complete some paperwork and be seen by a physician to ensure that you are eligible and able to give blood. This consists of checking your blood pressure, taking your temperature, sampling your blood, and answering a few basic questions such as your height, weight and any previous medical conditions. Once you are cleared by the physician, off to donate blood you go! The process took me only about 8 minutes. I was actually pretty surprised when my physician told me I was all done. It’s so simple, which is even more incentive for people to donate.

After they collect the blood needed (and I promise, it doesn’t hurt a bit), they put a bandage on you and that’s it. In as little as 8 minutes, you just saved a life.

Someone in this country needs a life-saving transfusion every 3 seconds…which is roughly 28,000 people a day. It is hard to imagine that many people are in need for blood each and every day. What is even more unbelievable is that a single donation of blood can help save 3 lives. 3 lives. Give 8 minute and save 3 lives? I see no question in that. It is just one of the simple ways you can help people in need. There is just no substitute for human blood and we need more people willing to take this small action. It goes a long way and you’ll be glad that you did it. 60% of Americans are eligible to donate blood yet on average only 5% of Americans do. Think about it. Giving blood is a small action that makes a huge difference in the lives of many people.

For more information on eligibility and how to help save lives, you can visit the American Red Cross website and/or search for a drive near your location.
 
If you’re from the New York area, you can visit http://www.nybloodcenter.com.