Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Golden Oldy

While I can’t say that winter has quite returned, a round of cold, blustery weather certainly has, so today was a perfect day to reprise a cool-weather outfit for my commute to the Library of Congress. I’ve blogged about these windowpane plaid slacks by Inclinations before, how I bought them when I worked at JCPenney in the 1970s and 1980s, how I used to wear them to work when I lived in Dallas, Texas, in the 1990s with this equally vintage sweater by Gerrard Works. I expect some of my coworkers who follow my blog may well recognize this ensemble.

Today I mixed it up a little by wearing the mustard-hued sweater over a black knit top by Units. I folded the black, crossover collar over a skinny leather tie by Ambience, which I found in the Menswear department at JCPenney back in the 1970s. With a black and tan Dea Dread in my hair from Thea Osato of Baltimore (http://DeaDreads.etsy.com), a fashion ring from Pier One Imports on my finger, and a sturdy pair of platform loafers by Studio Paolo for JCPenney on my feet, I headed out the door and into the bluster.

But my day wasn’t done when my commute back from the Library of Congress ended. On my way home from work I stopped to donate blood to the American Red Cross (http://www.redcrossblood.org).

Clara Barton and a circle of acquaintances founded the American Red Cross in Washington, D.C. on May 21, 1881. Barton first heard of the Swiss-inspired International Red Cross Movement while visiting Europe following the Civil War. Returning home, she campaigned for an American Red Cross society and for the Geneva Convention protecting the war-injured, which the United States ratified in 1882.

Today the gigantic nonprofit organization is headed by two remarkable women, Bonnie McElveen-Hunter, chairman of the board of governors of the ARC since 2004, and Gail J. McGovern, president and CEO since 2007. The Red Cross collects whole blood from volunteer donors like me all over the country, one pint at a time. Amazingly, only three out of every 100 people in America donate blood.
I consider regular blood donations my patriotic duty to help ensure a safe and stable blood supply for those in need. It only takes a few minutes, it’s painless, and I feel like I have really contributed something significant to humanity when I’m finished. While there is a red heart stamped on my driver’s license to indicate that all my organs are to be harvested to help others once I’m gone, a simple whole blood donation is something meaningful that I can give to help someone in need right now.

I gave a part of me today – one pint of blood for a worthy cause. Won’t you consider doing the same?

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