But part of the reason I give blood is that I love the technology. I mean, really. I remember when I first gave blood, waaaaaay back in the '70s, when I was a Harvard employee; the technology was comparatively primative. Yes, they had the plastic collection bags, but they didn't have all the other cool things. Like, nowadays, rather than swabbing you down with a cotton ball soaked in alcohol, and then one soaked in iodine, they have a prepackaged swab: squeeze it til it pops and the alcohol is dispensed for swabbing. Turn it over, squeeze it again, the swab has iodine on it. Easy-peasy. Then there's the little metal crimps they put on the line, after you've filled up the bag, to seal off the blood in the bag but still allow the phlebotomist to eke out some blood for the four test tubes that accompany your donation (so they can test for various things that would make the blood ineligible for transfusion). And the cool little cylindrical widget they put on the line, which diverts the blood into the test tubes. And the blue plastic thing which, at the end, they use to withdraw the needle from the vein. I'm sure all these things have proper names, and the fact that somewhere someone is inventing these tools foolishly delights me.
Granted, I'm the kind of woman who was cranky because, when she had an emergency C-section, they wouldn't let me watch. I love those "true tales of the ER" things on The Learning Channel. So giving blood not only helps my community, it means I get to watch the process and admire all the tiny, easily-taken-for-granted bits of technology. It's win-win for me.